Chivas USA keep on rolling, topple Whitecaps at HDC

ChivasUSAWhitecaps (Getty)

By VINCE MADURI

There weren’t many people in the stands at Home Depot Center on Saturday night, but those Chivas USA fans that did make it out to watch the biggest surprise in Major League Soccer were treated to yet another impressive showing by a team that is looking more and more like the real thing rather than a fluke.

A pair of first-half goals, including an eventual Eric Avila game-winner gave Chivas USA a lead they were able to hold onto on their way to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Avila volleyed a Jorge Villafana cross past Joe Cannon in the 55th minute, which at the time put Chivas USA ahead 2-0. Kenny Miller pulled one back for the Whitecaps when he headed home a rebounded Erik Hurtado shot in the second half, but the Whitecaps were unable to find an equalizer.

One missed opportunity that will have the Whitecaps reeling came in the 90th minute when Miller sprung Kekuta Menneh free on goal as Chivas played far too high a line, leaving space behind for the rookie to exploit.  However, Menneh took a very heavy touch which allowed Kennedy to get out and contest the forward as he took the shot.  The keeper did enough to make Menneh shoot wide and out of play for a goal kick.

Dynamic forward Darren Mattocks was not without his opportunities to equalize either, as the Jamaican had one instance in the 84th minute to get on the end of a free kick but could not connect cleanly initially.  The rebound fell to Mattocks’ foot but the forward sent the ball high and out of play.

Carlos Alvarez had scored his second of the season which had put Chivas ahead 1-0 in the first half when the rookie made a nice run toward the corner of the box and decided to test the goalkeeper with a shot which deflected off of Whitecaps defender Jun Marques Davidson in the 12th minute.  The goal was initially ruled an own goal but later was deemed a bit harsh and changed to credit Alvarez.

Juan Agudelo went down with an apparent hamstring injury early on the contest and was immediately subbed out for Jose Correa.  Chivas have yet to announce the official details of the injury or its severity.

Possession numbers finished in favor of Vancouver at 52%.  The Whitecaps also had the advantage in the shots department with 22 but only six of those were on target.

Here are the match highlights:

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16 Responses to Chivas USA keep on rolling, topple Whitecaps at HDC

  1. ChiTown says:

    This team is good. Real good.

    They play with more flair and technical skill than any other team in MLS. I guess all they needed to do was get rid of all the white guys… except Kennedy. He’s adopted Latino.

    • scott47a says:

      Bobby Burling?

    • AzTeXan says:

      It’s not about collecting talent, it’s about building a team. Chivas has an identity now and they love playing with each other, which was obvious when the entire team did the barrel role celebration.

      Also impressed by their crowd. With less than a thousand fans they somehow still managed to block the replay cameras with their flags. That’s commitment right there.

  2. Good Jeremy says:

    We were all very wrong about Chivas Jr., myself included.
    I’m still amused that their landlords at HDC have three Mexican-American players who are better than any Mexican-Americans on Chivas Jr. without having to manipulate their roster.

  3. MemRook says:

    Chives USA. Montreal. FC Dallas. Who would have guessed before the season started? Probably not too many. Crazy. That’s also part or why I sincerely love MLS though.

    • Neruda says:

      Still so early in the season and things may change in the table. What’s more disappointing is whitecaps FC. Lots of international talent but they just don’t seem to click enough of the time. Coaching? Time? Not sure but a lot of good individual players.

      Chivas USA on other hand play as a team without the big standouts players.

      • MemRook says:

        Yeah things will most certainly change (normalize, maybe). But I still love “surprise” story lines, etc.

        My hope is that Chivas USA continues this good run of form, which in turn helps invigorate the rivalry between them and LA, a la the cascadia rivalry. Maybe all Chivas USA needs is a little success to find some fans and push LA for more (operative word being “more” not most) reign in the area.

  4. bizzy says:

    Different style of play that warrants skill and ball control…..the reason coach José Luis Sánchez Solá called for mostly Hispanic players (and the fact that the club is owned by Jorge Vergara Madrigal, who also owns C.D. Guadalajara in Liga MX). They seem to be playing with flair, confidence and no ego…very quick on and off the ball…..very entertaining (even after watching EPL all week…lol)

    • Clyde Frog says:

      By all accounts Chelis was not the one behind CUSA’s player movement during the preseason.

  5. Tony says:

    This team is playing like a team. The team respects the coach. This team is doing great and should quiet down all those that questioned the team because they wanted Mexican American players. The team has good players and the Mexican American discussion was nothing more than banter that got people talking the only thing this team is doing is grooming young players . This is team that is going to make runs either this year or in the coming years which is why I am disappointed with shep messing calling them out as racist and asking for their removal. This Analyst however failed to look at his neighborhood. The red bulls are struggling!!!!

    • fieldsy says:

      There are more than just latinos in the neighborhood.

      • Nicholas Garcia says:

        Thats true, we play with african americans, anglo americans, etc. Chivas usa is multi culturally represented

  6. bml says:

    It’s good to see them have a strong start, but it’s bit early to be declaring the changes a success. It’s a long season and teams will adapt to them. So far it’s their second strongest start and if their next game is a win it will tie for their best start from 2009 when they ended the season 4th in the West.

  7. chuck says:

    this is terrible. the success of this team only serves to support the belief that a bunch of reserve players from the mexican league and some guy who coaches as a hobby is enough to achieve good results in MLS. I hope it goes down to the bottom where it belongs.