2012 in review: the best and the worst

From the best moments to the worst, here’s a recap of the season

Team huddle US Open Cup

Photo Credit: 
Olivia Cervantes

2012 was a challenging season for Chivas USA as the team struggled to find its best form and score goals. Although in most games the statistics were in favor of the Goats, the team was unable to find the results to get into playoff qualifying contention, missing MLS Cup for the third consecutive season, ending the 2012 campaign in the final spot of the Western Conference. Below are the best and worst highlights of Chivas USA’s season:

Goal of the Year: Juan Pablo Angel

In his first return to Red Bull Arena since leaving New York Red Bulls in 2011, Colombian forward Juan Pablo Angel notched an amazing goal against former club to give Chivas USA a 1-0 lead. In the 47th minute of the match, a corner kick taken by then-Chivas midfielder Blair Gavin found Rauwshan McKenzie, whose header found Juan Pablo Angel, leading to the game-opening goal. Ten minutes later, New York would score the equalizer, ending the match in a 1-1 draw. Angel’s 70th MLS career goal earned him a nomination for Goal of the Week and is among the nominees for MLS Goal of the Year. Angel became the club’s top goal scorer in the season, notching four in 19 games played.

Save of the Year

Out of the many saves goalkeeper Dan Kennedy had this season, his save against Marvin Chavez in the match against San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 2 in Buck Shaw Stadium. In the 68th minute of the match, Honduran Chavez took a left-footed shot from the right side of the box; Kennedy, with his cat-like reflexes, was able to push the ball out for a corner kick. This save also earned him a nomination to MLS Save of the Week and remains nominated for Save of the Year.

 

Moment of the Year

It took over 600 minutes for Chivas USA to end an unwanted scoreless streak. Jorge Villafaña’s goal in the 69th against FC Dallas on Oct.7, and it was the first club goal at The Home Depot Center since Aug. 25 against the Seattle Sounders. The last time the Red-and-White scored was also against Seattle when the team played the Sounders on Sept. 8 at Century Link Field.

“It meant a lot to score, we haven’t scored in a lot of games and this goal gave us motivation,” said Villafaña after the game. “We showed heart and we did it for the team, we did it for this club. I’m proud to wear this jersey and I’m glad that I scored the goal.”

Worst moment of the Year

“The team has broken all records; from most goals received to longest losing streak,” said Jorge Vergara about Chivas USA in a press conference Nov. 13.

On August 25, Chivas USA broke an unfavorable record, falling 6-2 to Seattle Sounders in front of a home crowd in The Home Depot Center, by far the most goals allowed in the history of the club. The only two goals in favor of the Goats came from Juan Agudelo and Miller Bolaños.

Team MVP: Dan Kennedy

The 2012 season was one of Dan Kennedy’s stellar years, standing out in every match played. The Red-and-White ‘keeper closed the season second in league standings with 109 saves. Kennedy started in 32 games this year before a knee injury cut his season short. Kennedy was also named MLS Player of the Week (the first and only goalkeeper to earn the honor this season) after his heroics in the Red-and-White’s match against Toronto at BMO Field. As of Nov. 20, Kennedy is among the top three finalists for the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year; winner to be announced on Thursday, Nov. 28.

Which was your favorite moment of the season? Let us know what you think.