MLS Regular Season
After being named to the 2012 MLS All-Star Team, Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy’s schedule has turned quite the busy one. The Yorba Linda, California native must now prepare for a busy schedule ahead: tomorrow’s match vs Portland Timbers, Saturday’s second SuperClásico of the Year, his birthday the following day (he wants to celebrate it with a win on Saturday), then flying out to Philadelphia to prepare for Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game vs FA Cup Champion Chelsea FC. Before going into all the chaos, Dan spoke to FS West about his All-Star selection at yesterday’s Dodger game at Dodgers Stadium. Check out what the MLS All-Star had to say:
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
Thoughts on the game: “I thought we were probably a little too passive in the beginning of the game, not urgent enough. Certainly, when we’re playing against a team who has traveled a bit and played a couple of games, we want to be able to push the tempo and push the pace. First half I thought things were a little bit too slow, we didn’t move the ball quickly enough, we didn’t make it difficult for them at all. I felt in the second half our urgency was much better. Certainly the second half of the second half I thought it was very good. Obviously pleased with creating a number of chances. Ultimately, obviously we need to finish one of those. More than anything we just come out of it as a group realizing that we have to [be urgent]. The urgency that we saw in the second half is what we need to see more of.”
On Chivas USA’s defense: “Certainly we’ve seen this group grow defensively. I think Danny Califf has been very instrumental in solidifying how we defend. Having said that, as you look at the second half, I think the entire team defending was very good and as a result we are certainly happy to have shutouts but we need to win games.”
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER – JAMES RILEY:
Thoughts on the game: “I thought the energy in the second half was great, first half obviously came off a little slow after the by week. I think the second half we obviously pushed the game and tried to get the goal and we were bright at times. We are missing that final touch at times still, but it’s always good to play an entertaining match even though it was zero, zero. Defensively, we kept it zero. Some guys put in good shifts and we got some guys back off injury, it was good.”
On the team’s performance: “I think the defense plays well as a unit. I thought the midfield and the forwards put in a great shift today. The formation shift at half time really worked and as we continue to fine line it or fine tune it, the goals will start coming. The good thing is we’re getting chances. I think we’re a deep team, we have guys that can contribute off the bench and if they have to start and things of that sort, we’ll do well.”
CHIVAS USA MIDFIELDER – RYAN SMITH:
Thoughts on the game: “Started off a bit slow, we didn’t create too many chances. At least we didn’t lose and we didn’t give up any goals. It’s a point at the end of the day, so we’ve got to be happy with that.”
On how the team’s is preparing for the four upcoming matches this month: “We just do what we normally do, just train hard and work on our game plans from game to game. Whoever we are playing against, we’ll prepare for them.”
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC HEAD COACH – MARTIN RENNIE:
On the game: "I think given the fact that it was 0-0 it was actually quite an exciting game, there was a lot of good play from both teams. In the first half we played quite well, moved the ball well and created some good chances. I'm disappointed that we didn't have a couple shots from around the edge of the box when we could have and perhaps should have. For us it's a good point on the road, it's our ninth clean sheet of the season. It's four points from the last two games on the road so overall that's all pretty positive and we can get ready now for the next game."
On Joe Cannon: "I thought he did well again, he made a couple of good saves. One he should have held and he didn't but we got to the rebound quickly but the others he saved well and generally looked pretty strong out there."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC DEFENDER – JAY DEMERIT:
Overall thoughts: "It's a decent away point, any time you go away from home on these road trips any time you get a point is a positive, but I think the way we possessed the ball in the first half I think if we did the same in the second we would have had more"
And he’s at it again! Dan Kennedy has been nominated for this week’s MLS Save of the Week. Although his heroics saved Chivas USA on multiple occasions in the past three games, Dan’s save vs FC Dallas has earned him a nod. Check out his save:
Vote for Dan Kennedy for Save of the week by clicking here. And don’t forget to vote for Dan for the 2012 MLS All-Star online and via SMS by sending a text to 22442 with the LAST name of the player you’re voting for, in this case KENNEDY.
After three games in one week, Chivas USA has landed in 15th position in MLSsoccer.com’s Power Rankings, coming down one position from the previous week. In the one week, the Goats we’re able to earn four points; three valuable points at home against Montreal Impact on Wednesday and a scoreless draw in a scorching hot Dallas.
Although the Goats might place among in the 15th spot of the Power Rankings, the club ranks 13th in general league standings with 19 points. Up next for the Goats in MLS, is the July 7th match vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center.
HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER:
Thoughts on the game: “I thought we had a decent start. We were able to create a couple of chances early on and certainly looked like we were capable of creating a few more. We came out in the second half and I was very happy with the result of the group, certainly there were moments in the game where it became difficult and we had to do a bit of emergency defending, but I was very pleased with the way we were able to finish the game. I thought we finished the game stronger than we have several times this year.”
On the impact of the substitutes: “You really can’t say enough about the three subs who came in. Jorge and Juan [Pablo Ángel] combined for the goal and then Pete had some very intelligent minutes down the stretch. So overall it’s a performance that we feel certainly good about. We always feel like things could be better but certainly it was a performance and a result that we are happy with.”
On the upcoming game at Dallas: “For us it doesn’t matter who the next opponent is, we have to continue to improve. There were some things tonight that certainly we thought we could get better and sharper at. Regardless of who we play, there’s going to be that challenge. Dallas in particular is a very talented team. They’ve certainly not gotten the results that they’re capable of. The weather is another factor there, it will be warm and hot. It will be our third game in a week, but that’s how this league is. Dallas, for me, is a good team. They have a lot of good players and for us, it’s another real exercise in concentration and being able to tighten up on a few things.”
FORWARD – ALEJANDRO MORENO
Thoughts on the game: “It was tough, we did some good things in the first half, lost the rhythm of the game a little bit towards the end of the first half. They capitalized on it and they got a tying goal. The second half was a pretty open game, they had a couple chances, we had our chances and in the end Juan [Pablo Ángel] scored a great goal and we got out of here with a win that we really needed.”
On the win: “It’s three points that we really needed. We’ve done a lot of good things the last month of the season and it’s important for us to continue to get three points. There have been times this year where we deserve a little better from the games and we didn’t get the points that we needed, it’s about that time for us to get some consistency with our results.”
MIDFIELDER – JORGE VILLAFAÑA
On the match: “It was a pretty good match, we were on top and then they tied and at the end of the last minute we got the goal and a good result at home. Let’s keep building on this and let’s prepare for Saturday against Dallas.”
On his assist: “It feels great, it feels good to come off of the bench and help the team win. That’s what you have to do when you come on to the field, you have to give everything you have and this time it made a goal and we won.”
HEAD COACH – JESSE MARSCH:
Overall thoughts: “For me, it’s a game that we 100% shouldn’t lose. We made critical mistakes: we’ve talked about dealing with set pieces and dealing with crosses, and that’s what hurt us. But for the most part, I felt like that game was under control. I thought we had that under control, and it was going to be a tie, or a win down the stretch. This is what we’re still trying to learn, because we’ve had a lot of games that look like this this year. We feel like we were good enough on the day to get a result, and we wind up somehow giving it away.”
FORWARD – DAVY ARNAUD:
On whether the team deserved points: “Yeah, but at the end of the day it’s the same story. We’ve had this story too many times this year. You can say you deserve points or whatever all you want, but at the end of the day, you have to find a way to get the result. Again, we play well enough to come out of here with points, and we don’t do it.”
DEFENDER – ZAREK VALENTIN:
Overall thoughts: “Just disappointed, mainly in myself. I feel like I gifted them two goals. I say that at the end of the day it comes down to making plays, and I didn’t make plays today. It won’t happen again, but the first goal was my man, and the second goal I shouldn’t have let the cross in. I know [Villafaña] well enough to know what he was going to do, but just didn’t make a play. So those rest on my back, and I’ll take credit for them.”
Just minutes after coming into the match, Jorge Villafana crossed a ball that found Juan Pablo Angel inside the box, allowing the Colombian forward to head the ball home for Chivas USA's 2-1 win over Montreal Impact. But don't take our word for it, take a look:
It has been a real battle for the MLS All-Star goalkeeper spot between Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy and Sporting Kansas City's Jimmy Nielsen since the voting opened earlier this month, but luckily, Kennedy is currently leading the poll! So far in the season, Kennedy has had 49 saves in the season, ranking among the top four in the league in comparison to Nielsen’s 29 saves. Since his integration to Major League Soccer in 2008, Kennedy has made 194 saves, landing him in the 38th all-time goalkeeping spot, and is just one save away from tying with legendary Mexican goalkeeper (and forward) Jorge Campos. The 29 year-old Kennedy is also 94 saves from matching former Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who currently sits in 29th place with 288 saves. On average, Kennedy makes 3.5 saves per match.
Even though Kennedy is leading in the votes, it’s up to you to keep him up there and get him to that MLS All-Star Team! You can continue voting for him online (click here), but since you already have your phone in your hand, send a text with the player’s last name to 22442. You may also vote via Twitter from June 21-22 by sending your candidates full name and using the hashtag #MLSAllStar and you MUST be following @MLS. There are plenty of ways you can vote for Kennedy and all the other Chivas USA players. You just gotta do it… NOW!