Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids | MLS Match Preview

CHIVAS USA vs COLORADO RAPIDS
STUBHUB CENTER - Carson, Calif.
Oct. 11, 2014 (WEEK 31, MLS Game #302)
8:30 p.m. MT (Altitude2; MLS LIVE)

Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids meet for a third time this season when the Western Conference clubs face off Saturday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA put an end to their 12-game winless run last weekend, getting the game's only goal for a victory against Real Salt Lake in Carson. The Rapids saw their own winless streak extended to 11 games, falling to a 4-1 defeat at Seattle Sounders FC.

REFEREE: Allen Chapman. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
Chapman's MLS Career: 48 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 12; pens: 18

SUSPENDED: CHV -- Nathan Sturgis (caution accumulation; through Oct. 12)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV -- Oswaldo Minda, Erick Torres ... COL -- Nick LaBrocca, Thomas Piermayr
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV -- Bobby Burling, Marky Delgado, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Agustin Pelletieri, Donny Toia, Leandro Barrera, Nigel Reo-Coker ... COL -- Carlos Alvarez, Marc Burch
DISABLED LIST: CHV -- Thomas McNamara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CHV -- Erick Torres, Marvin Chavez ... COL -- Deshorn Brown, Shane O'Neill (will now serve MLS suspension on Oct. 18), Dillon Serna, Marlon Hairston

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (27 meetings): Chivas USA 6 wins, 29 goals ... Rapids 14 wins, 47 goals ... Ties 7
AT CHIVAS USA (13 meetings): Chivas USA 4 wins, 14 goals ... Rapids 8 wins, 18 goals ... Ties 1

2014 (MLS)
5/11: COL 1, CHV 3 (Brown 92+ -- Torres 56; Chavez 67, 76)
7/25: COL 3, CHV 0 (LaBrocca 16; Moor 26; Torres 74)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Nick LaBrocca, Drew Moor and Gabriel Torres all scored as the Rapids took a 3-0 win July 25 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park; Marvin Chavez scored twice and Erick Torres also netted as Chivas USA roared back for a 3-1 victory May 11 in Commerce City.
  • The Rapids have taken points from each of their last five visits to take on Chivas in Carson (4-0-1), over the past four seasons.
  • The Chivas USA victory in the first meeting this season ended an 11-game Chivas USA winless streak vs. Colorado, their first win since March 21, 2009, going 0-8-3 in between.
  • Coaches record: Pablo Mastroeni vs. CHV: P2 W1 L1 T0 ... Wilmer Cabrera vs. COL: P2 W1 L1 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The Rapids took the lead in the 16th minute. After Vicente Sanchez's initial shot was blocked, Nick LaBrocca took the rebound from just outside the area and curled a left-footed effort off the post and to the back of the net.
  • Ten minutes later, the Rapids doubled their lead. A perfectly-placed corner from Dillon Powers went straight to Drew Moor, who made no mistake with his open header, blasting it straight into the back of the net.
  • The home side completed the scoring in the 74th minute when Gabriel Torres cut back inside and beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a right-footed curling shot from the left corner of the area.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Chris Klute, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Marc Burch - Nick LaBrocca, Jared Watts (Marlon Hairston 42), Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna - Vicente Sanchez (Carlos Alvarez 70), Gabriel Torres (Edson Buddle 76).
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Donny Toia - Marky Delgado (Matthew Dunn 80), Agustin Pelletieri, Nathan Sturgis, Eric Avila (Ryan Finley 64) - Leandro Barrera, Erick Torres.

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA put an end to their winless streak after 12 games, getting the game's only goal for a victory against Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 31 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came two minutes after the halftime break. Erick Torres chipped a shot from 20 yards over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, but it came back off the crossbar. Felix Borja was quickest to it, volleying home the rebound.
  • Chivas USA had a glorious opportunity to double their lead when Torres was taken down by RSL fullback Rich Balchan on the edge of the area and referee David Gantar pointed to the spot. But Rimando dove to his left to stop the spot kick from Torres.
  • Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy did not have to make a save until the 84th minute in keeping the clean sheet to snap the long Chivas USA winless run.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made two changes to the team that fell 4-2 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Eriq Zavaleta came into the back four for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Nigel Reo-Coker started in midfield in place of Nathan Sturgis.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta, Bobby Burling, Donny Toia - Matthew Dunn, Oswaldo Minda, Nigel Reo-Coker (Nathan Sturgis 74), Leandro Barrera (Marvin Chavez 88) - Erick Torres, Felix Borja (Agustin Pelletieri 89).

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA put an end to their winless streak after 12 matches, their first victory since a 3-1 win at Vancouver on July 12. The 12-game winless slide was the longest in the league this season and the third-longest in club history.
  • "I think it's exactly what we needed, a joy. They are really happy and they are thinking of the next game with the possibility to turn things around for us. Obviously when you have a good result, it supports what you have been doing [and working on]," said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera. "Now we have to continue working the same way because we have three games left, and the season won't be over until October 26."
  • It also ended an overall losing skid after seven games -- the second-longest in MLS this season (New England, 8 games, May 31-July 26).
  • "I don't want to say a weight lifted, but the guys have put in a lot of hard work, and it's frustrating when you go through a lull," said defender Bobby Burling. "It's a deep, dark hole, and you don't think there's any way of getting out, and the guys really dug deep."
  • Felix Borja scored his first goal for Chivas USA, in his ninth consecutive start after arriving at the club. He was partnered up top with Erick Torres for a second consecutive match.
  • "We knew that we were going to have spaces and today we created a lot of scoring opportunities. I think the result could have been greater. If you look the game, you can see that we were the ones that had more scoring opportunities," Borja said.
  • Chivas USA also kept a clean sheet for the first time since a scoreless draw with Vancouver on Aug. 16. It was their fifth defensive shutout of the season, their fourth in a 1-0 scoreline and their second 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake this season.
  • "If we could find the balance between being more solid in the back and creating chances, we were going to be OK. It was tough, it wasn't easy, and to win 1-0 shows how hard of a game it was. It also proved how all the players worked hard defensively and then offensively when we won the ball, we attacked and made the effort to create options and that was important," said Cabrera.
  • Said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: "It took all 11 to defend, and [RSL] had possession, but it they couldn't do anything with it. ... We sat in our shape and we withstood their pressure, and it actually gave is more space in their half, so when we were able to break, it was on."
  • Nigel Reo-Coker came back into the lineup after he was suspended for the Seattle match, while Eriq Zavaleta returned to the lineup after he was unavailable for the Seattle because of his interleague loan from Sounders FC.
  • "It was just great to get a win, it was just a relief, but we aren't going to dwell on it," said Reo-Coker. "We know we have to continue. It's the last month of the season. Football is such a fantastic and wonderful game. Why can't we go on a run? Why can't we win every remaining game from now to the end of the season? Itís a possibility, its football, that's what makes it such a beautiful game."

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids saw their winless stretch extended to 11 games, falling 4-1 to Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 31 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Sounders FC took the lead after just the 11th minute. Rapids center back Marvell Wynne was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, and Clint Dempsey finished cheekily from the spot from the resulting penalty, chipping the attempt down the middle for the 1-0 lead.
  • Sounders FC doubled the lead in the 28th minute. Osvaldo Alonso received a through ball from Marco Pappa in midfield and quickly turned before putting Obafemi Martins alone behind the Rapids back line, and he calmly finished from inside the box.
  • The score was 3-0 from the best goal of the match in the 33rd minute. Marco Pappa and Dempsey linked up for a beauty, Dempsey's delightful back heel set up a classy, patient finish from Pappa from eight yards out.
  • The Rapids pulled a goal back two minutes before halftime. Deshorn Brown hammered home a simple finish off a floating deflection in the box to make the score 3-1. But Martins put the game away with his second goal in the 70th minute, tapping home from almost on the goal line after a terrific feed from Lamar Neagle.
  • Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Clint Irwin came in between the posts in place of Joe Nasco, and Vicente Sanchez started in the midfield for Dillon Serna.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Chris Klute (Marlon Hairston 74), Shane O'Neill, Marvell Wynne (Zat Knight 46), Marc Burch - Vicente Sanchez (Dillon Serna 59), Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers - Deshorn Brown, Gabriel Torres.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids had their winless streak extended to 11 games, a club record. Their last win came July 25, the 3-0 victory vs. Chivas USA. With the defeat, the Rapids were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
  • The Rapids have allowed four goals or more in five of their last eight games. It was their third defeat in their last five matches by three goals or more.
  • "They out-competed us today," Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "And I think that's one thing I think we've done really well this year is being able to compete. Obviously, they've got some class players that can make a big difference on that team, but I think the first 15 minutes of the game we didn't set the kind of tone that we need to set in order to play against these kinds of teams."
  • Clint Irwin returned between the posts, his first start since Aug. 20, when he was in goal in a 4-3 loss to the LA Galaxy. His last appearance was Sept. 5, when he was beaten for six goals after coming on following the first-minute dismissal of Joe Nasco.
  • "His performance day in and day out in training was at a certain level -- like we said at the beginning -- he'll get another opportunity. He comes into a game, and it's a difficult game and we asked him to make a lot of big saves. He came up with a few, but we find ourselves in this conundrum," said Mastroeni. "For me, Clint has proven that heís more than capable of being that stalwart in goal."
  • Irwin was the third different goalkeeper to start for the Rapids over the last four matches. Nasco had started the previous two matches; John Berner had started the 2-2 draw vs. Portland on Sept. 13.
  • "I was happy to be back out there. Unfortunately, the result wasn't in our favor. That's kind of been the story for the last however many games," Irwin said. "It's good to be back out there, I wish it could have been a win but we just have to get ready for the next game. Thereís nothing we can do about it now."
  • Deshorn Brown scored his 10th goal of the season, matching his output from his rookie season a year ago, when he scored the second-most goals in a season by an MLS rookie.
  • New signing Zat Knight made his Rapids and MLS debut, coming on at halftime into central defense in place of Marvell Wynne.
  • "Zat brought a bit of calm and a bit of experience to the group and that was pretty evident with the way things went. It kept the game more in front of us as opposed to letting them get behind which was one of the points I made at halftime," said Mastroeni. "So how do we now rebound here with the right mindset and attack the next game with that. I think Zat coming in did shore some things up but you can't rely on one person to make that kind of difference."
  • Said Irwin: "It definitely helped a lot; you could see we were just a lot more organized. He was talking to everyone around him, keeping them in good spots, and at the same time playing well. He made a huge difference as soon as he came on."
  • Vicente Sanchez made his first start since Aug. 17, playing nearly an hour in a wide midfield role. He had made three substitute appearances over the previous six matches.

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