Preview: Rapids, Chivas desperate for points in West bout
COLORADO RAPIDS vs CHIVAS USA
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
August 18, 2012 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #230)
7 p.m. MT (Altitude; KDOC/KWHY)
A pair of Western Conference desperate for points meet when the Colorado Rapids entertain Chivas USA on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids return home off a 3-2 loss last weekend at FC Dallas, now sitting in eighth place in the West, 12 points behind the final playoff spot. Chivas USA find themselves just a point and a place ahead, after a 4-0 loss in the third SuperClásico of the season last weekend at The Home Depot Center.
REFEREE: Ramon Hernandez. AR1 (bench): Paul Scott; AR2 (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 35 games; FC/gm: 28.3; Y/gm: 4.4; R: 7; pens: 9
- COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); QUESTIONABLE: FW Edu (R foot contusion); FW Conor Casey (R hamstring tightness); DF Tyrone Marshall (R calf tightness); FW Kamani Hill (L quad strain)
- CHIVAS USA – OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); QUESTIONABLE: MF Peter Vagenas (R hamstring strain); MF Ryan Smith (R hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: COL: Jaime Castrillon (through Aug. 15)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Jaime Castrillon, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Martin Rivero, Tyson Wahl … CHV: Shalrie Joseph, Ryan Smith
ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Rapids 10 wins, 36 goals … Chivas USA 5 wins, 24 goals … Ties 5
AT COLORADO (10 meetings): Rapids 4 wins, 22 goals … Chivas USA 1 win, 11 goals … Ties 5
FUTURE MATCH: 10/20: Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. PT
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Two goals from Kamani Hill, plus tallies from Jeff Larentowicz and rookie Tony Cascio, gave the Rapids a 4-0 win April 28 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- The win in the first meeting extended the Rapids’ unbeaten streak vs. Chivas USA to six matches. Chivas last defeated Colorado in 2009 at The Home Depot Center.
- Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. CHV: P1 W1 L0 D0 … Robin Fraser vs. COL: P3 W0 L2 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/28: COL 4, CHV 0 (Cascio 50; Hill 82, 93+; Larentowicz 84)
- 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.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura (Hunter Freeman 46), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon, Martin Rivero (Kamani Hill 70) - Tony Cascio, Omar Cummings (Conor Casey 90).
- 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.
The Colorado Rapids lost for the ninth time in the last 11 games, dropping a 3-2 decision to FC Dallas on Saturday evening in Frisco. The Rapids are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 24 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: DAL 3, COL 2
- Colorado took the lead in the 12th minute. Hunter Freeman’s ball in to Brian Mullan looked as if it was headed for a goal kick, but the winger was able to get to the pass just before it crossed the end line and pulled back a first-time cross that was smashed home by Jaime Castrillón.
- The home side found their equalizer in the 41st minute. Julian de Guzman played a ball to Fabian Castillo at the top of the box and the 20-year-old attacker did the rest, blasting a low right-footed shot past Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
- FCD took the lead less than three minutes later from the unlikeliest of sources. Castillo was fouled by Drew Moor 35 yards from goal and Jair Benitez stepped up to the ball, curling the resulting free kick over the wall, past Pickens and inside the near post.
- FC Dallas made it 3-1 in the 49th minute. David Ferreira received a pass from Castillo, turned and slotted the ball past Pickens for an emotional first goal since returning from his long injury layoff.
- But the Rapids pulled to within a goal in the 55th minute. The visitors won a free kick about 30 yards from the goal and Jeff Larentowicz smashed a low drive that snuck through a crowded box and off the post into the back of the net.
- The Rapids' hopes for a fight back, however, suffered a blow in the 71st minute, when Castrillón earned a straight red card from referee Armando Villarreal for lashing out at FCD defender George John.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the side that defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Hunter Freeman came into the back four for Tyrone Marshall.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-1-1): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson 46), Jeff Larentowicz, Joseph Nane (Andre Akpan 52), Jaime Castrillon (sent off 71) - Martin Rivero - Omar Cummings (Tony Cascio 66).
- When the league took a two-week international break at the start of June, the Rapids sat in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference and held a .500 record (6-6-1).
- “It is crunch time with 10 games left. We're on the outside looking in right now, so we need to play every game like it is life and death,” said defender Drew Moor. “Every game is extremely important and every point is extremely important. We need to start winning games and we need to start putting teams away when we have the opportunities.”
- For the first time since a 3-0 win against Portland on June 30 – and just the second time in the current 11-game stretch – the Rapids scored more than one goal in a game.
- “We didn’t take our chances; you have to be able to put the game away,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “It keeps happening over and over. We’re not having that killer instinct to get the job done. We complicate ourselves, and we love to complicate ourselves.”
- Winger Brian Mullan collected his third assist in the last five games, and has a goal and four assists over the last 10 games. It’s the most assists the 34-year-old has had in a season since 2004, when he had eight for the San Jose Earthquakes. His single-season career best is nine, in 2003 (with San Jose).
- “We got the lead off a good play by Brian [Mullan] and had opportunities to score the next goal, but didn't do it,” said Moor. “When you have the opportunity to put teams away, you need to do it. That's how you win games. Like I said, we beat ourselves.”
- The Rapids were without Conor Casey for a second consecutive match, Omar Cummings again run out as the lone striker.
- Four different Colombians scored in the game – all three FC Dallas goals coming from Colombia, along with Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillón.
- “I liked the last one from Castrillón. They are very competitive, great kids, good footballers and good people,” said Pareja, from Colombia himself. “We always send [MLS] the best. When these things come against you though, you don't enjoy them too much.”
- The opening goal was the first directly from a free kick for the Rapids this season. A year ago, they scored four directly from free kicks, with three coming from Larentowicz.
- “It's similar to the last time we played where we have a lead and then gave it away,” Larentowicz said. “That's the story of the last month and a half. We just continue to beat ourselves.”
Chivas USA suffered their heaviest SuperClásico loss ever, falling 4-0 to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 21 games.
- The Galaxy broke through in the 27th minute. Robbie Keane collected a loose ball just inside the Chivas half, and slipped a pass to Landon Donovan on the right side of the penalty area. Keane continued forward into the area, racing to the near post for the return ball which he banged inside the post.
- The Galaxy stretched the lead to 2-0 in the 64th through Juninho. Donovan raced down the field on a quick counterattack and fed the Brazilian, who calmly curled a shot over Kennedy’s head and into the upper right corner.
- Juninho scored his second goal of the match 10 minutes later. After a quick build-up which saw the ball moved from right to left, Juninho snuck back post to one-time Donovan’s cross past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
- Center back Omar Gonzalez finished off the night’s fireworks by heading home a Donovan corner kick with seven minutes left.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made two changes to the team that claimed a 1-0 victory against the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Shalrie Joseph and Juan Agudelo came into the side, in place of Paolo Cardozo and Cesar Romero.
- CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, John Valencia, Danny Califf, Ante Jazic - Miller Bolanos, Shalrie Joseph, Ben Zemanski (Oswaldo Minda 71), Nick LaBrocca - Juan Agudelo (Alejandro Moreno 76), Juan Pablo Angel (Casey Townsend 75).
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV 0, LA 4
- Chivas USA have allowed seven goals in their last six games. But in that stretch have come four shutouts – they allowed seven goals in two losses to the Galaxy (also 3-1 on July 21).
- “You have to really take accountability and be accountable for some of the things that went wrong,” said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser. “Through the four goals they were all turnovers, with little to no pressure and that’s not good enough for sure. In terms of our decisions with the ball they were not good enough; I think that there is plenty of blame to go around everywhere.”
- The game was the Chivas USA debut for Shalrie Joseph, who was acquired from the New England Revolution for Blair Gavin. Joseph played the full 90 minutes in central midfield.
- “I’m sure on a day we play better, we get more out of Shalrie, we get more out of everyone,” Fraser said. “Shalrie was part of a team that didn’t play very well tonight but that certainly doesn’t dictate how he played. I think the group didn’t play well and as the group doesn’t play well, no one really shines.”
- Said Joseph: “I know I’m comfortable and confident to know I’m not going to lose [the ball]. I did lose a couple but I’ll be better next game. Whoever is in the middle, whoever is up front, we’ll be better as a team next week for sure.”
- Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy faced a season-high 12 shots, and tied his season-high with eight saves. He also made eight saves in the season-opening 1-0 loss to Houston.
- “I’m kind of speechless,” said defender Ante Jazic. “We had a good week of training, the atmosphere was good and I thought we were going to come out and put in a good performance but besides Dan I don’t know anyone who performed well.”
- Fraser returned to a twin-striker scheme with Juan Agudelo partnering Juan Pablo Angel up top. Ben Zemanski paired with Joseph in the center, with Nick LaBrocca moving wide.
- “I think it’s become a little bit mental now, it’s on our minds and one of the problems that we are having. It is very frustrating,” said Kennedy. “I know there was a point in the match where it was only 1-0 and we had a couple scoring opportunities that we did not capitalize on. Those are the opportunities that we need to finish to stay in a game like this. When you do not get those you continue to open yourself up and push for a goal, and that is when they scored the second, third and fourth.”
- Agudelo made his first start since June 16, having come on as a substitute vs. Portland after missing three games entirely.
- Oswaldo Minda made his first appearance since June 30, coming on as part of three substitutions in the final 20 minutes of the game.
- “I thought we had good moments at different times throughout the game, certainly not enough as a team,” Fraser said. “As the game gets to the 70th minute you’re looking where you can insert fresh legs that might be able to give us a lift, we felt at times it was coming and we want to continue with the group to see if they are going to break through.