Photo by ISIPhotos.com
BY JONATHAN VERA
CARSON, Calif – Chivas USA endured their worst month in June, but after a series of ties, a few wins, and an epic hat-trick by Justin Braun, the Goats are starting to get on the right track.
Braun scored twice in the first half and once in the latter for his second hat-trick of the season to help lift Chivas USA to a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
Braun's first goal was a volley toe poke from an Ante Jazic cross from the left flank in the 31st minute.
Nine minutes later Braun scored again with a chip shot over All-Star selectee Tally Hall, and in the second half closed the show with a sliding goal inside the six in the 86th minute. Jazic assisted again.
“It’s cool to get a hat-trick,” Braun said. “I kind of went through a dry spell there and it’s great to get that weight off my shoulders. But the most important thing is that the team came out, played well collectively and got three points, which we needed.”
“Justin was extremely focused on being in dangerous positions and he was on several occasions and as a result was able to capitalize on some very good service,” Fraser said.
Another big surprise for the night was the performance of Jazic. The midfielder had been sidelined with an injury for some time now but played as if he was perfectly fine.
“Certainly you’d expect him to not be so sharp from the layoff, but right away he got calm and was mature in his decision making and his timing of going forward was very good," Fraser said. "Obviously to get two assists – what a great way to come back."
The last time the Rojiblancos beat Houston was on August 26th, 2006 at the Home Depot Center. So it felt great to get that monkey off their back. However, this victory meant so much more than any statistic. For the next month, the Red-and-Whites will be playing on the road.
“Essentially, it’s our biggest win of the season,” admitted Heath Pearce. “We got a really important road stretch coming up and to be able to get three points before we hit the road is great for our confidence.”