Preview: Chivas USA vs. Chicago Fire
CHIVAS USA vs CHICAGO FIRE
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
May 4, 2012 (WEEK 9, MLS Game #77)
11 pm ET (ESPN Deportes)
A pair of clubs looking for a victory to provide a boost meet at The Home Depot Center when Chivas USA take on the Chicago Fire on Friday evening. Chivas are looking for their win – and first goal – in a home game, coming off a 4-0 defeat at Colorado last weekend, their first away loss. The Fire are coming off a 2-1 home defeat by Seattle Sounders FC, which followed a 3-2 win at Toronto FC.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal MLS Career: 131 games; FC/gm: 24.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 47; pens: 48
INJURY REPORT: CHIVAS USA – OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); PROBABLE: MF Ben Zemanski (R knee MCL sprain) … CHICAGO FIRE – OUT: DF Cory Gibbs (R knee meniscus repair); MF Steven Kinney (R posterior tibialis tendinitis); QUESTIONABLE: FW Chris Rolfe (L ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: CHI: Jalil Anibaba (through May 5); Frank Klopas (head coach; through May 5)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Oswaldo Minda
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHI: Sebastian Grazzini
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Chivas USA 4 wins, 16 goals … Fire 7 wins, 22 goals … Ties 3 AT CHIVAS USA (7 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 8 goals … Fire 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 2
LAST YEAR (MLS): 7/2: CHV 1, CHI 1 (LaBrocca 46 – Oduro 26) 9/17: CHI 3, CHV 2 (Gibbs 2; own goal 26; Oduro 85 – Angel 61; LaBrocca 63)
• This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
• Chivas USA haven’t defeated Chicago since a 2-0 win June 19, 2008 at The Home Depot Center. The Fire have won five of the seven league meetings since, with two draws.
• The Fire have won three of the last four meetings at Toyota Park, with one draw. Chivas last won in Bridgeview in 2007, the second of back-to-back victories.
• Coaches record: Robin Fraser vs. CHI: P2 W0 L1 D1 … Frank Klopas vs. CHV: P2 W1 L0 D1
Chivas USA went down to defeat for the first time away from home, dropping a 4-0 decision to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Chivas USA start the week in eighth place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 8 games.
• The Rapids took the lead in the 50th minute, on their first corner of the match. Martin Rivero served the ball from the left side and Tony Cascio calmly chested the ball away from his defender and fired an unstoppable shot inside the far corner.
• The Rapids then broke the game open with three late goals. Freed down the left by Cascio, Omar Cummings delivered a centering pass that skipped past two defenders to Kamani Hill, who slotted home from the heart of the area.
• Two minutes later, Jeff Larentowicz broke through on the right side of the Chivas area, only to be brought down by Ante Jazic for a penalty kick, which he took himself and buried.
• Hill added his second goal of the match two minutes into stoppage time following a late onslaught of shots on the Chivas goal, finally drilling the ball home after a Conor Casey effort was blocked in the goalmouth.
• Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made two changes to the team that went down to a 1-0 defeat by Philadelphia Union at The Home Depot Center. Laurent Courtois and Juan Pablo Angel came into the team, in place of Ryan Smith and Alejandro Moreno.
CHIVAS USA (4-1-4-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Heath Pearce, Rauwshan McKenzie, Ante Jazic (Blair Gavin 85) - Oswaldo Minda - Miller Bolanos, Nick LaBrocca, Paolo Cardozo (Casey Townsend 73), Laurent Courtois (Ryan Smith 59) - Juan Pablo Angel.
• Chivas USA were shut out for the first time in four away games this season, in suffering their first loss after three victories. They still have yet to score in 360 minutes played at The Home Depot Center.
• “This is obviously a very poor result,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “We put ourselves in a some difficult positions with some turnovers. At the end of the day, you go on the road, then you have to fight — and we’ve seen us fight before on the road — and we felt like today some of that was lacking.”
• After starting the season with a 250-minute goalless drought, Chivas come into the Fire game on a 241-minute scoreless run. They are the third and fourth longest streaks without a goal in MLS this season.
• “I think that when we were able to win balls in the midfield we were able to get forward and there was space and our wide players got into good spots that allowed us to get service and to open them up and as a result we were able to get a few decent chances; a few decent looks,” said Fraser.
• Chivas USA allowed more than a goal in a game for the first time this season. They had allowed five goals total through the first eight games, with three clean sheets.
• “I think the score doesn’t really tell how the full game went, but their persistence definitely won out at the end. They kept attacking and they got their goals. [We need to be] a little sharper in the final third. I think our execution was a little bit off, but we were close, so that’s a positive to take out of it,” said Nick LaBrocca. “ … We just need to start focusing on winning our home games and obviously scoring goals. That’s basically what it comes down to for us.”
• Juan Pablo Ángel started and played 90 minutes for the first time since the season opener, after missing five matches with a concussion. He had come on for the final 27 minutes as a substitute in the Philadelphia match.
• “I’ve been out for eight or nine weeks in total, so I was exhausted toward the end,” Ángel said, “but the only way you’re going to get your rhythm is by playing. So I was in a way very content that I was able to get back and get the first 90 minutes under my belt, but extremely disappointed about the overall performance of the whole team.”
• Chivas USA welcomed José Erick Correa into the fold during the week as he took part in full training for the first time. Fraser would not commit to whether Correa will see the field vs. Chicago.
• “He’s certainly an interesting young player with a good build, good work rate and good attitude so far,” Fraser said. “He’s a hard worker, he’s got good pace and can hold up the ball up, he’s a great athlete … obviously, we need to get him integrated and see how he fits in and where he fits in.”
The Chicago Fire saw their brief two-game unbeaten streak come to an end, falling to a 2-1 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire start the week in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 6 games.
• Sounders FC went ahead in the 39th minute on an own goal by Arne Friedrich, as David Estrada’s low shot from the corner of the penalty area deflected off of the inside of the German defender’s leg and found its way past an off-balance Sean Johnson at the near post.
• Seattle then doubled their lead in the 67th minute. Johnson lost the handle on a free kick and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado sent it goalward before Eddie Johnson provided the final touch over the line, his first goal in MLS.
• Marco Pappa got one back for the Fire in the 89th minute, scoring directly off a corner kick that caught Michael Gspurning off his line, the ball curling inside the back post.
• The end of the match was marred by a scuffle between both teams that saw Fire defender Jalil Anibaba and head coach Frank Klopas receive red cards.
• Fire head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that knocked off Toronto FC 3-2 at BMO Field. Daniel Paladini came into the midfield in place of Marco Pappa.
CHICAGO FIRE (4-3-1-2): Sean Johnson - Dan Gargan, Arne Friedrich, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares - Daniel Paladini (Federico Puppo 72), Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause (Marco Pappa 61) - Sebastian Grazzini (Rafael Robayo 80) - Patrick Nyarko, Dominic Oduro.
• The Fire have allowed two goals in each of the last two games, and in three of the last four games.
• “I thought [the defensive showing] was all right,” goalkeeper Sean Johnson said. “But in giving up two goals, you can’t be happy with your defensive performance… In the past two games, we’ve given up two goals and that’s not going to win us any games. Definitely as a defensive unit, we’ve got to get better.”
• Arne Friedrich was in central defense for a third match, unfortunately the victim of an own goal when a David Estrada cross deflected off him past goalkeeper Johnson. Friedrich will be paired with a new center back this week with the suspension of Jalil Anibaba.
• “Game-by-game, you want to say you build and build, but honestly it’s coming together,” Johnson said. “Players are jelling and it’s coming together but we’ve got to come out next week and really prove it and turn things around.”
• Marco Pappa started the game on the bench after playing 72 minutes for Guatemala at midweek in a 1-0 friendly loss to Paraguay.
• “I think talking to Marco, playing an international match is different than playing at the club level,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said. “The intensity, the travel part you’ve got to put that into mind. We wanted to keep him fresh and bring it on at a point where you feel that if you needed to, you can push the game and bring something different from the bench, which he did.”
• Pappa’s goal – his first of the season – was a stunning “gol olímpico” – directly from a corner kick. It’s the second goal directly from a corner in as many seasons in MLS: David Beckham scored one for LA last July 9 – ironically against Chicago.
• “They knew I played in the national team game on Wednesday night and they knew I needed the rest. I know that I needed to recover. When I came in during the second half I tried to help the team,” Pappa said. “ … It was my first goal of the season, but it’s hard to feel good because my first thought is always of the team and we didn’t get the points. Now we need to prepared for next week.”
• Daniel Paladini made his first start of the season for the Fire, in place of Pappa, before giving way to Federico Puppo.
• “I thought that the ball movement was good, the ability to connect with when [Dominic] Oduro’s higher up, Patrick [Nyarko] comes in and he is a guy that you can play to his feet,” said Klopas. “I think you have to mix it up and we have the players to do that. Our philosophy is to keep the ball on the ground. We prefer to keep the ball moving with short passes than with long passes, but you also have to take what the opposing team gives you.”