Head-to-head: Dan Kennedy vs. Pavel Pardo
As Chivas USA host Chicago Fire tonight at The Home Depot Center, the Red-and-White will be looking for their first three points at home and to return to their winning ways against the Fire. The last win for the Goats was back in 2008, when Sacha Kljestan and Justin Braun both scored in Chivas USA’s 2-0 victory over the Fire on June 19 in The Home Depot Center.
In that same game, 2005 MLS SuperDraft goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made his first appearance against Chicago Fire, starting off with a clean sheet and ending the year with team best 1.03 goals against average, after playing nine games (eight starts.) Currently, Kennedy has played in all eight games (all starts), having 28 saves and a 1.13 GAA, placing him among the top five best goalkeepers in the league.
“I’m looking forward to this game,” said Kennedy. “We have a lot of things to set right; obviously the last game wasn’t favorable to us. Realistically looking at that game, it should have never ended up like that so we do have a lot to prove. I expect the group to come out with a lot of emotion and a lot of fight and we need to make sure that happens over the full 90-plus minutes.”
Aside from other players from the Fire looking to score on Kennedy, one in particular to keep an eye on will be Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo. Known for scoring goals on freekicks’ from outside the box, Pardo will be looking to score his first goal of the season. The Mexican international scored his last goal in his second match in MLS on August 3 against Philadelphia Union, helping the team equalize the match for a final 1-1 score. So far in the 2012 season, Pardo has only had one assist, compared to his five in 2011.
Whether Pardo will be able to score on Kennedy will also depend on the defensive line, placing them among the top three best back lines in the Western Conference.
“We need to continue being strong in the defensive line,” said Chivas USA’s Head Coach Coach Fraser. “Obviously in the game against Colorado, we were attacking until the 81st, 82nd minute when we had a few errors that were unacceptable. Despite that, we need to be strong defensively like we’ve been in the majority of the season.”