Takeaway Points: Chicago
Four games into the season, Chivas USA has picked up seven points with Coach Chelis, something that took last year’s team six games to reach. On Sunday against the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA defeated the Midwest team 4-1; the Goats had not scored that amount of goals in a single game since defeating the New England Revolution 4-0 at Gillette Stadium on May 5, 2010. The Red-and-White also broke a winless streak at Toyota Park on Sunday, earning their first win at Chicago since June 9, 2007.
With the four goals scored last Sunday, Chivas USA became the team with the most goals scored in the league. Chivas not only gained three points in the standings that pulled them up to second place, but they continue gaining confidence that has already begun turning heads.
“I said all preseason with this group, everyone is so new so it is important that we get off on the right foot and build team chemistry together on the field, and that’s what we are doing,” said goalkeeper and team captain Dan Kennedy after the game. “I’m proud of all the guys. It’s not easy to come in this environment and win.”
Some things never change, and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy’s game-to-game performance is one of them. Last season, the man between the posts kept the final goal differential at a minimum for Chivas USA, making 105 saves in 32 games. On Sunday, Kennedy made seven saves, the most saves he’s had in a single game this season for a total of 18 saves, the second most in the league.
“For a goalkeeper it was a really fun game,” Kennedy said. “You get a chance to make some saves and the team puts four goals on the board, and it relieves a little pressure.”
Improvement where it’s needed for next match
Although the final score was in favor of the Goats, there are areas where the team could improve ahead of Saturday’s game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. On Sunday, Chicago outshot Chivas 19 to nine, had the majority of ball possession (57%/42%) and had better passing accuracy than the Goats (74%/61%).
“It felt like the long balls, the wind was holding the ball up and we were able to put pressure on their center backs,” said Juan Agudelo on the team dynamic. “It gave us some extra time and possession because the balls we were playing the first half were going to the goalkeeper.”
Chivas USA will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, March 30 at The Home Depot Center. Click here to purchase your tickets to this match.