Delgado steps into net when needed for Chivas

Costa Rican defender had to play 'keeper in final minutes at D.C.

CARSON, Calif. – In the 09th minute of Chivas USA’s match at D.C. United last Saturday, starting goalkeeper Zach Thornton was given a red card for taking down D.C. striker Santino Quaranta in the penalty area.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, the Red-and-White had already made three subs and couldn’t bring on another goalkeeper to replace Thornton.

Enter Dario Delgado.

“Given the situation, with Zach ejected and no subs, I had to step in,” said Delgado after training on Tuesday. “It was an interesting experience.”

After quickly talking it over with Thornton and Goats team captain Sacha Kljestan, Delgado took Thornton’s gloves and jersey and stepped into the goalmouth for Chivas.

“Sacha came over to Zach after he had been expelled and that’s when I volunteered,” said Delgado. “Zach told me I could do it and that gave me a little confidence.”

Delgado had no time to adjust to his new role, having to defend a penalty kick from D.C. captain and ex-Chivas USA defender Carey Talley the moment he put on the gloves

“I tried to listen to my teammates about what to do for the penalty kick,” said Delgado, who dove to his right and had no chance of saving Talley’s left-sided shot. “But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stop it.

Watching Delgado from the bench was Chivas USA backup goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, the man who would have stepped in for Thornton had the Red-and-White been able to make a sub.

He insists that, though Delgado has no formal goalkeeping training, the Costa Rican did alright between the pipes.

“It’s a lot to call on a field player in that situation,” said Guppy. “He stepped up and that takes a lot of courage. For the most part, you’re just picking a side when you’re trying to stop a penalty kick, so he had as much a chance as anybody.”

Saturday wasn’t the first time Delgado played a position outside of defense. The 24-year-old prides himself on his versatility and enjoys stepping out of his comfort zone from time to time.

“I like to learn positions other than my own on the field,” said Delgado. “I even played striker a couple of times in Costa Rica. It was a fun experience. I like to do whatever I can to help the team, whether it’s playing in defense, offense or even goalkeeper.”