Chivas USA returned to George Mason University for its second practice this morning ahead of tomorrow's match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium to conclude their week-long road trip. With a record of 7-14-7 and 28 points, the Red-and-White's opportunities to gain points are running out. After Sunday's match there are five games remaining in the season, including a Wednesday, Oct. 3, match at Vancouver, which Chivas USA trails by nine points for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Chivas USA arrived in D.C. Thursday afternoon and held a morning practice today on the campus of George Mason University in preparation to face D.C. United, Sunday, at RFK Stadium. The Goats trail D.C. in the all-time series at 4-7-3, but in the last six meetings have a 4-2-2 record against United. The last time the two clubs met in September of 2011, the Goats rallied from two goals down thanks to two second half goals by Juan Pablo Angel.
In 14 head-to-head matches, the clubs have combined to average a little over three goals per match. The series, however, has not been just offensive, as seven clean-sheets have been recorded - four by D.C. and three by Chivas USA. Current D.C. forward Maicon Santos played with Chivas USA in 2009 and part of 2010, appearing in 19 games for the Red-and-White. No current player on Chivas USA's roster has played for United.
HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
On conceding the late goal: Really, in the first half I thought we were very much in control of the game. We created some very good opportunities. In the second half, we didn’t control the game as well. We didn’t take care of the ball well enough in the second half like we did in the first half. Inevitably, that’s going to lead to you being under pressure more. Then obviously, the goal --the way it came and the time it came-- it was devastating.
On coaching from the stands: It was difficult. Even on the bench, you feel like you don’t have a ton of control anyway once the game starts. That’s the great thing about soccer; it’s a game of improvisation. Sitting up in the stands, it was difficult. I guess I really didn’t appreciate how difficult it was going to be. Certainly from that high, you get a very good view and you can see little things that we stopped doing that we did very well in the first half that we didn’t do as well in the second half. As a result, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure.
MIDFIELDER - NICK LABROCCA
On pushing for a win to move out of last place in the Western Conference: It’s all about momentum and building it. We could have gotten a win or a tie. That would’ve helped us get a little more confidence. Obviously, this isn’t going to help that, but it’s a better performance from us I think. We just need to get after on Sunday against D.C.
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF
On Chivas USA’s current direction: We’ve been going through a really rough stretch and I thought we played quite well throughout most of the game. I think we certainly dominated the first half and parts of the second half. This one hurt quite a bit.
As you might’ve already noticed, we really push our fans to vote for our very own Dan Kennedy for MLS Save of the Week. And the upcoming week (we hope) will be no different. So, we’re just giving you a head’s up. Tonight’s result was difficult; yet another last minute goal that sinked the team to yet another loss. But as always, it could’ve been worse if it weren’t for Kennedy’s heroics.
How about this save that Kennedy had in the 42nd minute of the match when the Crew’s Arrieta headed a cross by Gaven? Kennedy was in the right place at the right time to make that save.
So if Dan’s save would be nominated for MLS Save of the Week, would you vote for it? Or do you have another candidate?
If you haven’t seen it, take a look:
Another heart breaking last minute goal in today’s 1-0 loss to Columbus Crew that takes Chivas USA to their fourth consecutive loss. Many might think that there aren’t any positives to take from the match, but how about Miller Bolaños performance tonight? Although our usual candidate Dan Kennedy had a great game, tonight’s CDChivasUSA.com’s Man of the Match is Miller Bolaños. Since the start of the match, he was quite dangerous on the attack, taking shots on goal and making passes. In the second half, Bolaños headed back to collect balls and look for the winner.
Take a look at one of Miller’s shots on goal that you’ll probably spot later next week nominated for MLS Save of the Week:
This past weekend, Chivas USA culminated its 5th year of Chivas at the Park Soccer Clinics. As a result of the program, 23,000 boys and girls in the Los Angeles area received affordable soccer training and learned how to live healthier lifestyles. Chivas USA is looking forward to continuing to work with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and the Mayor’s Office next year. Thanks to everyone that participated and made these clinics so successful!
Chivas USA arrived in Columbus Monday evening on schedule for its match on Wednesday night against the Crew. Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm PT at Crew Stadium. The Goats held a light afternoon practice Tuesday at the Columbus Crew Training Center at Obetz, Ohio. The Goats lead the all-time series at 6-4-4 and are unbeaten in the last three matches against Columbus. The last two games between the Red-and-White and the Black-and-Gold resulted in ties, with the last meeting being played to an exciting 3-3 draw in Columbus. Current Goats Nick LaBrocca and Jorge Villafaña each had a goal in the contest.
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ASSISTANT COACH – GREG VANNEY:
Thoughts on the game: “Up until the penalty call I thought we were pretty good controlling the game defensively, they weren’t very dangerous. We found a couple of opportunities, one in front of the goal with Miller’s [Bolaños] ball rolled in and Casey’s [Townsend] header that [Jon] Busch made a great save. I thought we were creating good chances and we were in control of them in our defensive final third, they weren’t finding great opportunities on our goal I don’t think Kennedy had made a save until that point.”
On the referee’s call: “The frustration there is obviously having seen the replay one of our players put us in a tough situation. The referees make a call of frustration and none of the officials actually involved in the game really saw it. It was the fourth official I think called it from midfield. I’m not really sure how that plays out or who has what responsibilities. I know the other two linesmen and center referee didn’t actually see the play. That’s frustration on both sides in terms of where the call came from and obviously our player putting us in that situation.”
MIDFIELDER – SHALRIE JOSEPH:
Thoughts on the game: “It’s frustrating, we didn’t do enough to come out tonight with points. Offensively we created a little bit of chances; we just weren’t able to score. The referee changed the game with a call like that [penalty], and after that we were in a hole and we were just trying to push numbers trying to create more opportunities and get a goal, but it didn’t come for us tonight. We need to hold our heads up and try for next week.”
On the penalty: “I don’t know what to say to be honest, I’m going to have to look at it again and I’m sure Coach [Fraser] is going to do the same. You don’t change a game like that; you don’t just make a call like that. The game was going fine until he [the referee] made a change like that. It was frustrating to have a penalty called with the ball not even close to the goal line. It’s frustrating, but the guys kept battling, the guys kept fighting and we weren’t able to pull it off tonight but we will be better next week.”
On Coach Fraser’s absence in the second half: “Robin has been there on and off the field, and Greg Vanney has done a great job being Assistant Coach. He can replace Robin like that, they work off each other. I understand why Robin had to do what he did, that’s just part of being a coach, sticking up for your players.”
On playoffs: “The good thing about it is that the possibility is still there, we just have to pick our heads up and keep working hard. We have a quick turn around next week in Columbus; we just have to pick our heads up and try to win the next one.”
MIDFIELDER – NICK LABROCCA:
Thoughts on the game: “I thought we played really good. The penalty changed the game a little bit. It changed how we need to come out, it opens us up a little more and we have to get that tying goal.”
On Coach Fraser’s absence in the second half: “At the end of the day it’s the players out on the field trying to do a job and get wins and we didn’t do that today.”