Chivas USA rookie Gavin pleased with debut

Akron alum went full 90 in SuperClásico loss to LA Galaxy

Gavin vs Galaxy April 1 2010

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Before last week, Chivas USA rookie Blair Gavin had never played in
a professional soccer game. He had never had his name in the starting
lineup on the team sheet, had never walked out of the tunnel to
thousands of roaring fans and had never battled against MLS competition
for 90 minutes

But last Thursday night, he did all that. And he did it in a SuperClásico, no less.

“It
was extremely exciting, especially with the big crowd,” said Gavin
after Chivas’ 2-0 defeat to the in-stadium rival Galaxy. “Tough way to
end up for my first game, but I know that we play a good brand of
football, and it’s going to come. It was a lot of fun.”

Gavin
played the whole game against Los Angeles, often supporting Sacha
Kljestan and Marcelo Saragosa in the middle of the field. The young
holding midfielder looked a bit nervous in the first 45 minutes,
dropping a few passes here and there, but was much steadier during the
second half.

“The first time you come out on the field and see
all the fans roaring, you get a little amped up,” said Gavin. “But you
have to find the time to relax, clam yourself, and then just play.”

“Overall,
I thought I did pretty well,” he continued. “I still have a lot of
improvements to make, but I’m proud of the way the guys kept fighting
until the end.”

Gavin was drafted 10th overall in the 2010 MLS
SuperDraft. The University of Akron alumn had scored five goals and
added three assists in his third and final year at the school, helping
lead the team to a 23-1-1 record and a spot in the College Cup final
last December.

He has settled in nicely with Chivas USA and is pleased with the team’s progress under new head coach Martín Vásquez.

“We
train well, we play well,” said Gavin. “The goals are going to fall.
We’ve had some great opportunities, we’ve just been unlucky.”

With
a strong performance in his debut, Gavin will likely see more minutes
on the pitch in Chivas USA’s game against the New York Red Bulls next
Saturday, April 10, at the Home Depot Center.

“I have to match
my intensity, or even raise it,” said Gavin of his goals for the next
game. “I have to complete my passes and continue to get more confident
in what I’m doing. If I keep working hard, winning balls, and helping
other people, I’ll be fine.