Kennedy happy to be earning PT for Chivas

Backup 'keeper manning the pipes while Thornton recovers

CARSON, Calif. – As Chivas USA prepare to take on Mexican Primera side Pachuca at the Home Depot Center on Wednesday evening, there may be nobody more excited about stepping onto the field than Dan Kennedy.

The third-year goalkeeper has been the Red-and-White’s first choice during the 2010 SuperLiga and has taken full advantage of his time on the field.

“This is why we play; to be on the field and contribute to the team on the field,” Kennedy told MLSsoccer.com after practice on Tuesday. “This has always been a special tournament to me – the SuperLiga – because you get the opportunity to play some of the best teams on the North American continent. I’ve always enjoyed being able to compete in this tournament and look forward to it.”

Kennedy took over the starting job from Zach Thornton in the 36th minute of Chivas USA’s game against Kansas City on July 10 after Thornton went down with an injured ankle. Kennedy then helped the Goats to a 2-0 win over the Wizards and the team’s first league win since May 5 at New England.

“Kansas City was a great result for us on the road,” said Kennedy. “To get a win on the road in this league isn’t easy for anybody. We needed those three points.”

Since then, Kennedy has been given the starting nod in each of Chivas USA’s first two SuperLiga group games, including the 2-1 loss to Puebla last Thursday and the 1-1 draw against Houston on Sunday.

“I was really happy to be on the field for our first home game,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result and we put ourselves into a corner. But we went to Houston and we needed a win but we knew that a tie would give us an outside chance.”

Kennedy will once again get the nod on Wednesday against Pachuca as Chivas USA try to edge their way into the SuperLiga semifinals. The Goats will be looking for a win at the Home Depot Center and will have to hope for a loss for Houston against Puebla in the other game. Pachuca has already been mathematically eliminated from the tournament.

“With Pachuca having a tough run so far in the SuperLiga, you can expect them to change their lineup a bit,” said Kennedy. “They’ll have some guys out there who are eager to show what they’ve got for their new season. We need to be prepared and to be tight defensively to give ourselves a chance to score a couple of goals and win 2-0.”

Even if the result doesn’t go Chivas USA’s way, Kennedy is glad to get a chance for some game minutes and will continue to work hard toward improvement in the SuperLiga and beyond.

 “I’m happy to have gotten a string of games behind me,” he said. “In the last game, I had some good decisions that resulted in good saves and that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. It feels good.”