Match Report: Chivas USA vs. DC United

Recap from today's friendly at The Home Depot Center

CARSON, Calif. (February 25, 2011) - Chivas USA played its sixth preseason scrimmage today, drawing with D.C. United 0-0 at The Home Depot Center. The draw was the Red-and-White’s first this year, bringing their overall preseason record to three wins, two losses and one draw.

The match was attended by around 150 observers, including Bob Bradley and the U.S. National team staff, fans from both teams and families of some of the players. The weather was overcast and cold for most of the match, with a bit of rain just after halftime.

Chivas USA started the game in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Alan Gordon and Mariano Trujillo played in the center of midfield, just ahead of Simon Elliott. Mendoza and Bowen played as wingers, switching positions fluidly with each other and Gordon throughout the game.

Alejandro Moreno started as the lone forward, and worked to hold the ball up for his teammates. Zach Thornton started in goal, but only had to make a few straightforward saves, as neither team had many real chances. Newcomer Heath Pearce started at left back, next to Michael Umaña and Jimmy Conrad. Rookie Zarek Valentin started at right back, and was the only Goats player to go all 90 minutes.

Chivas USA had the better of the match for the first quarter of an hour, but it was back-and-forth throughout most of the first half, with the majority of the action taking place in the middle of the pitch. Both teams appeared to still be figuring out their shape and how to play with each other and there was lots of communication between the players. D.C. United was whistled for offside at least a half-dozen times in the first half, a sign that the Red-and-White offside trap was working.

The second half lacked some rhythm because both teams made many substitutions. Jesús Padilla had the best chance of the game in the 55th minute, bringing the ball down in the box and forcing D.C. United ‘keeper Pat Onstad to make a big save with his chest. Substitute Gerson Mayén added a spark in the center of midfield, and left back Jorge Flores sent in a few dangerous crosses.

One of the highlights of the match was an appearance by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who has been battling injuries for the better part of 6 months. He entered the match in the 62nd minute, making his first appearance for Chivas USA since August. He made a few big saves to combine with Thornton for a shutout.

According to head coach Robin Fraser, the result was “disappointing”, because he felt that the team had been making positive strides every day throughout the preseason. He didn’t think those ‘strides’ were fully demonstrated in the scrimmage, although he said that he saw a few good moments.