Chivas USA score three second-half goals to rout winless Fire

JuanAgudeloChivas (Getty)

By TYLER DAY

For Chivas USA it’s all about respect. With more results like Sunday, the team won’t have any trouble earning it.

Chivas broke open a tied game with three goals in the final 20 minutes to register a 4-1 thrashing of the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday. The win improved the Goats to  2-1-1 and into moved them into a tie for 2nd in the Western Conference.

“It feels awesome to get a little bit more respect,” said Juan Agudelo, who delivered a goal and assist in the triumph. “This team works harder than any team I’ve ever been on.”

The game was up for grabs until the 73rd minute, when Joaquin Velasquez put in header from an Edgar Mejia cross to make it 2-1.

The Fire then had to chase the game, which opened up their defense that had been strong until that point.

Two minutes after the Velasquez goal, Agudelo settled a long ball from Jorge Villafana, out-muscled Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz for position, and guided a shot into the right corner to make the game 3-1.

“I thought it was huge our third goal,” Agudelo said. “It gave us a lot of space to finish off the game.”

Paolo Tornaghi, who was caught in between on Agudelo’s goal, started in goal for the Fire in place of Sean Johnson, who is currently with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Things went from bad to worse for the Fire when defender Jalil Anibaba put in a deflected own goal in the 89th minute to make the final score 4-1 to Chivas.

”To score four goals is just a game changer,” said Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “It makes other teams respect you and be more defensive minded against you and that’s important for us.”

After an opening day 3-0 pummeling at Columbus, Chivas has rolled off seven points in its last three contests. It took the team 10 games last season to reach seven points.

“Everybody is so new it’s important to get off on the right foot and build team chemistry together on the field and that’s what we’re doing,” added Kennedy.

For the Fire, Sunday’s loss drops them to 0-3-1, the team’s worst start in franchise history.

The team did manage to score its first goal of the season when Patrick Nyarko was put through by Sherjill MacDonald in the 64th minute and it looked for a moment that it would propel the Fire to more.

MacDonald, who has been disappointing to this point this season, was significantly better on Sunday.

And like the team’s home opener two weeks ago vs. New England, the Fire controlled possession and had more shots on goal. But they were again unable to put away early chances and Chivas made the most of its opportunities.

The Fire will have a week off to regroup before they play host to the New York Red Bulls on April 7. Both teams will surely be desperate for a win.

Chivas will be back in action next Saturday as the team will try to keep its promising season going at home vs. Vancouver.

“The last half of last season didn’t go the way we wanted,” said Kennedy, “but fortunately enough of the guys that are still here from that group have moved on and everyone else that is new didn’t experience that.

“We’re looking to move forward with this and we know we still have a long way to go.”

Here are the match highlights:

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39 Responses to Chivas USA score three second-half goals to rout winless Fire

  1. Maykol says:

    Looks like its gonna be a bad year for Chicago

    • AzTeXan says:

      Now that they scored a goal they can set their sights on bigger things like scoring more goals for themselves than they have for their opponents. That tally is currently 1-1.

      • MLSsnob says:

        +1if I would have said the fire are going to suck and chivas was going to be good at the beginning of the year you would have thought I was crazy.

  2. ChiTown says:

    We suck so bad.

  3. Wild Draw Four says:

    I don’t have an opinion either way on Chivas USA’s hiring policies, but this is going to make some great stories throughout the season. The rise of the Canadian teams, Cascadia, Chivas, Donovan’s walkabout, the looming question of future expansion…I love it. American soccer has drama, and drama draws attention.

    That being said, if CUSA can’t get their attendance up, sell that franchise to a city that cares.

    • Chris says:

      “That being said, if CUSA can’t get their attendance up, sell that franchise to a city that cares.”

      Having a winning record will likely help to fix that. When the team was making the play-offs their attendance wasn’t that bad, these last three years or so has really taken the wind out their sails ticket-sales wise.

    • scott47a says:

      Less than 10,000 in Chicago today.
      Bad weather, but still, all this talk about forcing CUSA to move makes me wonder what y’all think about the other cities that don’t support their teams like the Canadians and Cascadians.

  4. barnie says:

    one word, midfield!

  5. Old School says:

    Poor manager, poor signings and less than average players.

    Not sure what else Chicago Fire expect.

  6. MikeG says:

    Agudelo had a sweet goal. Pure touch. Pure class. Pure skill. Hope he gets a lot more goals…the USMNT could use the competition.

    • DC Josh says:

      +1

    • ed - houston says:

      He’s been doing that for a few games now.

    • barnie says:

      if u look he sure looked offsides on the initial play in the replay, thought one other also was not called on another goal also, but the mids have to step up to the plate, their play in the last 30 min, was not good in their defensive end.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about…..the guy on the bottom of the screen is CLEARLY in front of Agudelo & the camera angle also shows the guy at the top in the frame when you see Villafaña kick the ball that he looks at least aligned with Agudelo if not in front of him. Look at the grass & the lines of the squares show you Agudelo is not offsides. If you pause the video at 7:03 or right before it when 7:02 is about to change to 7:03 you can see it.

        The 1st goal was a cross that was not offsides, then I think it’s Berry who heads it back, then Bowen heads it to Agudelo to Agudelo with multiple guys ahead of both Bowen and Agudelo who passes it back again for a nice 20 yard Golazo. The 2nd goal the guy who scored went all the way around and nobody was offsides, the defender for Chicago kept him and the guy in front of him onsides. Look at the 7:03 mark the goal was great, what screwed Chicago was that the wind held the ball up and sort of set it up for Agudelo to catch up to Larentowicz….but if it hadn’t it looked like Agudelo would have the ball at the top of the box on his own vs the Fire keeper…

    • jon says:

      Glad he’s getting it together. Still annoyed rbny traded him

  7. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Nyarko is a bust. Move on from him.

  8. Eric says:

    After that second Chivas goal, anyone think Klopas is secretly furious at Jurgen Klinsmann for taking Sean Johnson away simply to sit him on the bench as the #3 keeper for the two qualifiers?

    (Ditto for Jason Kreis and Nick Rimando…Josh Saunders is a total mess at GK, there’s a reason LA dumped him for Cudicini in the offseason.)

    • vik says:

      Injuries and cards can happen randomly, never know when backup keepers are asked to play.

    • Kosh says:

      But-but-but they picked those guys, knowing full well that the guys they were backing up were definitely going to leave this year – be it WCQ or GC.

      I don’t deny the coaches were miffed but it be a waste of time to be ticked at JK. I think it was more at the display of the guys in the nets or maybe them thinking to themselves…”yup, now I know why my peers were looking at me in a puzzled way when I picked that dude”.

  9. Good Jeremy says:

    Looks like I have some crow to eat on how bad I expected Chivas Jr. to be.

  10. space god says:

    Chicago was my pre-season MLS Cup pick…

  11. Leonardo says:

    Agudelo’s touch, sublime. his goal, uncanny.

  12. ChicagoPersianFilipino says:

    This is why “I have” no team in the MLS. I just follow the sides with the attractive style. Based on the last few years, it appears that the owner of the Fire doesn’t know and/or care about soccer. How can a team located in one of the best cities in the Country continue with their “meh” ways? From the scouting to the quality of their signings, the Fire operate in a manner of a small market team. Hopefully, the team continues to lose money via lack of fan support and the owner will do the right thing and sell the team (hopefully) to a local owner who actually cares.

  13. DC Josh says:

    I’m glad I switched the game off at halftime…

  14. byrdman says:

    Loved Agudelo’s assist on first goal. Good hold up and distribution.

    But his goal was outstanding. Strength to should Larentawicz off the ball, and two quick touches to finish in the far corner with a little bend on it. Beautiful.

  15. PD says:

    Chivas is going to be a team to watch this year I guess! There really is something to be said for playing like you have nothing to lose. But I guess with a keeper like Dan Kennedy you can play a back 3 and push number forward. Really glad to see Agudelo getting minutes and showing his quality.

  16. Will says:

    For Chivas being labeled Racist, looks like the players have good chemistry

    • TomG says:

      I think the two have nothing to do with each other. I’m turned off by Chelis’ rhetoric and conspiracy nonsense, but I’m also very interested to see the team play. I think it’s interesting to see an experiment where most of the players have grown up playing a particular style, especially given that it’s a technical style, so Portland and Chivas, to me, are the two most interesting clubs to watch this year. I just wish Chelis and the rest of the management at Chivas would cut out all the garbage and just play football, and that they would actually get some fans to watch them play. I think, in the right situation, it would be a big boost to the league to have a successful team playing a highly technical style with Latin flair.