MLS Regular Season
#14- That’s 2012 MLS SuperDraft pick Casey Townsend’s number! Casey was the last Chivas USA player to score against Real Salt Lake. Remember that game? It was a cold Saturday, March 24 in Sandy, Utah, as the 22 year-old forward started his second consecutive game, only to score his first professional goal in the 72nd minute of the match. It was the match that gave the Goats the first three points of the season, and that began the infamous ‘road warriors’ nickname. Check out the goal:
#15- The number of minutes Chivas USA has had their best game against Real Salt Lake. From minute 45-60, the Goats have scored seven goals against Real Salt Lake. Top goal scorer during these 15 minutes? Paulo Nagamura with two goals; the first being scored in the 58th minute on October 6, 2007 and the second on May 9, 2009 in the 54th minute, both wins for Chivas USA in The Home Depot Center.
Just one week after being acquired, Juan Agudelo scored his first goal with Chivas USA in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders. The young striker opened up the scoreboard in the 47th minute of the match off a cross from former Sounder James Riley. But there's a lot more to the play than you think. Check out MLSsoccer.com's breakdown of Agudelo's goal in this week's 'Anatomy of a Goal.'
After facing the top three MLS teams in the past 14 days and getting five points out of it, Chivas USA has landed in the 12th spot of MLSsoccer.com’s Power Rankings. Chivas USA kicked off a busy two weeks earning a 1-1 draw with then-first place San Jose Earthquakes; earned the first victory in the SuperClásico since 2007 against then-ahead in standings LA Galaxy with a single goal from Jose Correa (his second in two games); travelled across the country to face second place New York Red Bulls midweek and earned a 1-1 draw with an amazing goal from Juan Pablo Angel; returned to The Home Depot Center to face Western Conference third place Seattle Sounders and earned a 1-1 draw where recently acquired Juan Agudelo scored his first goal with Chivas USA. The Goats are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference (12th overall) with a record of 4-6-3 (W-L-T) with 15 points.
After starting in all games this season with Chivas USA, James Riley's hard work is paying off. Just last Saturday, Riley was up against his old Seattle Sounders teammates, squad of which he shared locker rooms for three years, made it to three consecutive MLS Cup Playoffs, and where he helped the team earn three consecutive U.S. Open Cup titles. Although Riley stated during the week that he didn't hold any grudges against the Sounders, the Colorado native went into the game and assisted in Juan Agudelo's first goal with Chivas USA. For that, MLSsoccer.com named James Riley to the Team of the Week for Week 12 of the regular season. What other Goat do you think should have been named to the MLS Team of the Week? Share your thoughts.
After scoring 58 goals with the New York Red Bulls from 2007-2010, Juan Pablo Angel returned to Red Bull Arena, to score yet another goal in the Harrison, New Jersey stadium, this time with Chivas USA. Angel opened up the scoring in the 47th minute of the match as defender Raushan McKenzie headed the ball to the Colombian striker to give the Red-and-White an early lead. A few minutes later, New York would score the equalizer for the final 1-1 score in the Goats second match in five days. Now, Angel’s 70th career goal is up for MLS Goal of the Week. But before you rush to vote for him, re-live his goal:
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER
Overall team performance… “I felt like we came out and we did pretty well throughout the first half. We were able to create some opportunities. We talked about some things to get some of our wide players in 1v1 situations in the second half. I felt like in moments leading up to the goal, and on the goal, we did really well in terms of moving the ball quickly and isolating our wide players. And we were able to get a service and score a goal. I felt like after we scored the goal, we got away a little bit from that and obviously gave up a goal that seemed to be a bit of a soft goal. At the end of the day, a draw is probably a fair result.”
On Agudelo’s goal… “I thought he worked hard and he presented himself in some dangerous situations tonight and he was close to being dangerous often. It was a good play that freed up James on the right side, and he put a great ball in. Juan made a great run and certainly a very good finish. In terms of what it does for his confidence, I think any time goal scorers score goals, their confidence goes up.”
On the back line’s performance… “I think the group is continuing to grow and gel together. Danny has only been here a couple of games but I think he has fit right in. There’s good understanding between all of the defenders. As a result, I think we are able to read each other well, and therefore cover each other well. At the end of the day, that’s what you need to do as a back four.”
CHIVAS USA GOALKEEPER- DAN KENNEDY:
Thoughts on the match… “It’s always good to take a point, but I thought we deserved the win. We just let one mistake in the back and it cost us a win. Danny made three big plays which those are plays I don’t have to make. James had a great game, Ante solid.”
On Seattle’s goal… “Unfortunately the bounce didn’t go our way on that goal. It’s just one of those things where the ball came up a little awkward on him, and he wasn’t able to make a play.”
On Chivas USA’s four-game unbeaten streak… “I feel like these games are there for the taking, we don’t have a problem playing the underdog. The biggest thing in this league, I feel, is momentum and when you get it and you get hot you need to take advantage of it. That’s why I feel like maybe we left two points on the table tonight. We really excel on the road, because I feel like we seem to compete a little better when our backs are up against the wall. This is a group that thrives under tough circumstances. What we need to do is not only thrive in those tough times, but in the good moments when we’re home too, that’s our next step.”
CHIVAS USA FORWARD- JUAN AGUDELO:
Thoughts on the match… “It was a hard fought match, we were able to go ahead on the goal and unfortunately they had a really good goal, a good cross, and I think one of our defenders slipped. I thought we’ve been playing really well, maintaining the ball and it was good.”
On his first goal with Chivas USA… “It felt great, most importantly to help out the team, to put them ahead. It’s not a personal stand point, but just trying to help out the team.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS HEAD COACH - SIGI SCHMID
Thoughts on the game... “For us to be able to come back from being one nothing is a good thing. I felt we had some chances at the end of the game, and they were pretty good chances. There was Rose on his header, Rose shot off from distance and it’s cleared down the line; Eddie Johnson gets in there one time on the end line. I was pleased with our ability to come back in tonight’s game.”
On the Sounders’ seven-game unbeaten streak on the road... “We feel very confident on the road, we feel we’re going to do well. Chivas has done well on the road this year also. It’s something we always try, we don’t change how we play all that much. Today we changed a little more than normal, I think we played a little more defensive than we normally play on the road just because it was the only option really for us, we needed to keep the ball in front of us. But we always feel very confident on the road.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER - ALEX CASKEY
Thoughts on the final score... “It’s kind of tough to go down and then we actually created a few chances after we equalized, so I thought we easily could have taken one after the 65th minute. At least we got the tie; it was tough game on the road.”
Thoughts on Chivas USA’s unbeaten streak... “It’s definitely positive for them, it shows their perseverance and attitude that they can keep finding and start getting good results.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FORWARD - DAVID ESTRADA
Thoughts on the game... “I think it was a heartfelt match, there a new team now with Califf and Agudelo, it’s not the same Chivas as before especially at home. I think they are a very motivating team and I think it’s good we got a point, we could of maybe gotten three points at the end but when were playing away, I think one point is good.”
On Seattle's equalizer... “It’s always good to equalize it sooner than later. Alex Caskey came in and he made a difference, played a good ball. I think it was a bad clearance from the defender, but I’m just trying to get myself in a good spot, luckily we went in.”
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH - ROBIN FRASER
On the match: At the end of the day a point on the road is good. Certainly, we want to continue to improve the way we’re closing out games and that needs to continue to get better. But at the end of the day, it was a really hard fought point. The players dug in, it’s a tough situation; this is a good team. This is a good team and it’s their place; lots of very special players that can make plays.
On the fans’ tribute to Juan Pablo Angel: When I went out and I saw the huge ‘Thank You Juan Pablo’ sign, I thought ‘What an impact he has had on this city.’ And for him to come back here today and score the goal and really, I thought, played very well, it was fitting. It was a fitting day for him.
On the tough competition the team has faced this year: We’ve played a lot of first place teams this year. I think we played Kansas City when they were in first place, San Jose when they were in first place, the Galaxy is the Galaxy, and New York has been a very good team for a long while, regardless of where they stand. Obviously, being in first place, they’re in good form at the moment. We’ve had several very difficult tests and I think this will only make us better as the season goes on.
CHIVAS USA FORWARD - JUAN PABLO ANGEL
On his return to New York: You know that people remember you, it’s because they appreciate what you did for them, for the organization, and for the club. For me, it meant everything. I will always be grateful to these supporters, to this club, for giving me the opportunity to express myself for a few years. I feel great; the memoires will never go away. And the banner…I wasn’t expecting it. For me it was very emotional.
On his goal: At the end of the day, you get your head into the game and you forget about the rest of the stuff. We knew that we were gonna play against probably the best team in the league as of now. They’re coming from four or five wins in a row, and we needed to get a result somehow.
On playing the full 90: I felt good during the game and I think I played a decent game. In general, I think it was an entertaining game. They had their chances and for us it was important to get at least a point. We go back home, just looking forward to the game this weekend.
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF
On his transition to Chivas USA: I think it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far. I’ve had two days before the game training and then two games. For me, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Putting one foot in front of the other and really trying to concentrate on doing the best I can in the matches. What really excites me about the team is I think there’s a ton of potential, we just have to believe we can win. I think the big problem so far is giving up late goals. The belief that we can actually play, compete and win games is the last piece to the puzzle.
On his return to Los Angeles: It felt great. Obviously, being that it’s the first game, there’s always that extra bit of buzz. To walk back in as a player through the tunnel at Home Depot, it felt really good, I felt really comfortable. They’ve made it really easy for me: the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff. It’s been a whirlwind, so there hasn’t been too much down time, but they’ve made me feel comfortable straight away.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH - HANS BACKE
On the match: I’m quite pleased. We should have won this game, but the way we dictate the game in the second half, I must say it looked much better than before. Of course we had our chances. Sometimes games end up with a tie when it’s not always logical in football, but I must say I’m pleased with the performance.
On Kenny Cooper: I think he’s up to 11 now. He deserves it. He’s a hard worker, every game, every training session. And of course he has some good guys around him who can feed him with precise passes. I still think he has a lot to learn and I think he can improve.
On if he thinks Cooper should have been called up by the U.S. National Team: I don’t really comment about other teams and national teams. He’s hot, he’s scoring a lot and you can say normally strikers are in then. But I don’t bother, I must say, it’s up to (Juergen) Klinsmann.
On the play of Dane Richards: I hope that Dane could stay consistent. Sometimes you feel, okay should you sub Dane or get another guy in? But, you know, you need pace in this league. That’s why we keep him on the pitch almost all the time because sometimes he’s just running in behind and having an assist or things like that. I just hope we can keep working with Dane and make him a little bit more consistent to create chances.
On Thierry Henry’s return: I would say a little bit positive surprise because he’s been out, by the weekend, about four weeks. And that’s without competitive games, and it’s not enough to just do some training sessions. He was very, very close three or four times to have a free runner and to finish the game off. So I’m happy with his performance.
On Dax McCarty: First of all Dax, I think he’s still staying on a quite high level. Sometimes you can see unforced errors, but overall his work rate is phenomenal, winning some 50-50s. He’s been playing, I must say the last five or six games on a quite high level.
On Juan Pablo Angel’s return to Red Bull Arena: It’s quite expected. I would have expected him to score the winner too in the last dying minutes. But that’s the way it is, it always happens like that. He’s a clinical finisher and if you have a team that will feed him around the 18-yard box, he will still score goals.
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER - RYAN MEARA
On the backline today versus earlier this year: We’ve been defending more since the DC game when they scored 4 goals on us. We basically felt embarrassed about it, especially against one of our rivals. We came together as a team and we’re sick of giving up goals like that. The back line has been great, but it’s a lot more- it’s the whole team defending and everyone chipping in.
On Henry’s return: Definitely [an emotional lift to the team]. He’s our captain, he’s a huge presence in our locker room. And not only that, on the field, he’s probably the best player in the league. So you always want him on the field when you can. I think we were a little unlucky to not get that second goal, but that’s just how it works sometimes.
On Pearce’s presence and addition to the back line: I think it’s been huge. He’s been around; he’s played in Germany and other places in Europe, as well as the MLS. Even during the Montréal game, we just met him the day before, but he fit right in. When someone is that good, it’s easy to play with. He’s been great and I’m looking forward to playing with him.
On Henry’s presence on the pitch: He’s such a big presence on the field, when our backs or midfielders are in our trouble, they know they can clip it up to him and put it near him, and he’ll try his best and more often that not he’ll come out with the ball. It’s huge for us.
On Juan Pablo Angel returning to the Red Bulls Arena and facing him: It was definitely cool. He’s been a great player; he was great for this franchise. And you can see how much it meant to the fans, the big signs they had. That’s why our fans are so great. Because I don’t think too many fans in this league would go to that extent to thank him for his time here.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER - HEATH PEARCE
On playing against Chivas so quickly after being traded: It’s a quick turnaround obviously, but I’d prefer that compared to waiting a while, [to play] having it set in, and kind of get thrown into the fire. But, I enjoyed it I thought we could have gotten three points, but nonetheless it was good to get out there and play a home game with the guys.
On settling into his role on the Red Bulls: Today I felt a lot more settled in. Obviously the conditions in Montreal weren’t the greatest: the pitch isn’t the greatest, we played down a man there a little bit. So, I thought this game was a lot more comfortable for me, hopefully it gets better with time as well.
On Dax McCarty’s performance: Dax is a solid two way player and he makes a lot of late runs for us, that stretches their defense for us. He also takes a lot of pressure off us when were trying to go side to side. So, Dax had a great game he’s a great player.
On whether or not the mood of the Red Bulls locker room was if the team felt like it dropped points: I don’t know if that was the mood, but I think everyone is on the same page that we felt like we should have won that one. We dictated the play most of the time and we had our chances, so of course we’re a bit disappointed but I think it was a decent showing overall.
On Chivas’ style of play: They’re a possession orientated team as well, they’re a technical team, they like to keep the ball, they like to control the tempo. But, I thought we did a good job of implementing our style of play on them and controlling the flow of the play.
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER - DANE RICHARDS
On the feeling in the locker room: Well we’re disappointed. We created a bunch of chances and we could have won the game, but we didn’t. But, the point is better than a loss.
On playing with his former teammate Juan Pablo Angel: Before the game he said, “Dane no sprinting today and I’m like no scoring today Juan Pablo.” But I sprinted, he scored. So, we didn’t listen to each other.
On the roles of Henry and Marquez winning back possession for the team: Definitely with having Rafa in the midfield, we know we are going to keep the ball more. So that was no surprise today. And we know that Chivas is a very technical team, so we tried to keep the ball too.
Chivas USA midfielder Blair Gavin surprised many, including the fourth official, as he went into the SuperClásico last Saturday rocking his new mustache. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was also spotted with a mustache/beard. Who wore it best? You decide! (P.S- You can follow Blair’s moustache on Twitter: @GavinsMustache)
— Gavin's Mustache (@GavinsMustache) May 22, 2012
— Ben Zemanski (@zmnsk21) May 21, 2012