Top Five Plays for Chivas USA in 2010: Espinoza vs. Toronto
As the off-season begins, cdchivasusa.com is counting down the top five plays of the Goats 2010 season, in no particular order.
After all five plays are posted, fans will be asked to vote for your favorite and help name Chivas USA's top play of the season!
Top Play #1: Espinoza's Strike Seals Rout of Toronto FC
Heading into the October 9th home game against Toronto, Chivas USA was on a three game losing streak, and had already been eliminated from the playoffs.
Even though the postseason was no longer the goal, the team was not ready to call it a season just yet. The players were asked to play for the shirt, for the fans and for pride. They responded with style in one of the most dominant victories of the season.
The first half of the match was a stalemate, but the Goats took control in the second 45. Jorge Flores opened the scoring just after halftime, and Jesus Padilla effectively ended the match with a counter-attack goal in the 88th minute. But the inspired Goats players kept pushing, and in the 90th minute Rodolfo Espinoza capped the rout with a wonderful, curling, 20-yard strike.
Watch Espinoza's goal:
The goal was Espinoza's first in MLS, after he joined the team in mid-July. Chivas USA went on to win the match 3-0, ending their losing streak and giving the home fans plenty to cheer about.
Last week, the 29-year-old midfielder looked back on his big goal.
"[Jesus] Padilla hit a cross that was deflected and the ball just came to me," remembered Espinoza. "I was in the middle of the field, and Padilla later asked me 'What were you doing there?' but I had really wanted to score a goal."
Espinoza had many family members in the stands that evening, and scoring his first goal in front of them made it even more special.
"I was really excited," he said. "I had gone a few games where I actually really wanted to get a goal. I had been able to assist on a few goals but I hadn't been able to score. I was very happy, and the truth is I felt a lot of emotion because I got to see my daughters up in the stands, and they were enjoying it in the same way that I was."
Despite being out of playoff contention, the Goats were driven to win at home, said Espinoza.
"We really wanted to close the season on a good note," he recalled. "You always have to fight for every game, for every moment. You give everything to win, especially when playing at home."
What do you think about Espinoza's goal? Could it be Number One? What other plays are you expecting to see in the next four? Leave a comment below!