Kennedy grabs ahold of No. 1 shirt for Chivas USA

'Keeper has backstopped Rojiblancos to two straight draws

CARSON, CALIF – Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy worked tirelessly to recover from injuries so that he could reclaim his starting spot. Now that he’s got it, he’s shown no signs of letting go.

Kennedy has backstopped the Goats to their first two results of the season after taking over for Zach Thornton in goal. Kennedy made his first start of the year in a 2-0 US Open Cup qualifying loss to the Portland Timbers and has not ceded the position. In the last two league matches, he’s let up just one goal and Chivas have come away with a pair of draws.

Kennedy’s renaissance comes after the 28-year-old goalkeeper missed the start of preseason recovering from a torn biceps tendon that he suffered in August of 2010. After two positive results in two starts, head coach Robin Fraser is pleased with what he’s seen so far from the goalkeeper.

“We didn’t see Dan much for the preseason, so we got a lot of looks at Zach. I wanted to get a chance to see Dan in the Open Cup game,” said Fraser following Saturday’s match. “So since then, he’s had a run of games because he’s been pretty good, so would I say that he’s number one? At the moment yes, because he’s the one that’s starting, but I think there is a healthy competition between goalkeepers right now.”

In the scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew on the weekend, Kennedy did well to leave a lasting impression. Throughout the match, he appeared his usual mobile self, routinely coming off his line to negate Crew opportunities from corner kicks. Kennedy made two saves on the night, including a fingertip save on an Eddie Gaven break away that preserved the Rojiblancos’ first shut-out of 2011.

Kennedy is determined to do his best to earn a regular spot in the starting lineup.

“I want to be in the team every week, that’s why I’m playing and why I am pursuing this career,” said Kennedy. “I want to be on the field and contribute, so I’m going to do my best week in and week out to be in a position to put myself on the field every week.”

Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at adam.m.serrano@gmail.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano