Chivas USA's Defensive Effort Earns A Point On The Road Against Vancouver Whitecaps FC

April 17, 2011

Vancouver, B.C. -- Playing in their third all-Western Conference matchup, winless Chivas USA (0-2-3) fought Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-2-3) to a scoreless draw in their inaugural trip to the expansion team's temporary home on Bell Field at Empire Stadium.

The game saw both teams create multiple chances, and in the end it was a tough point earned on the road for Chivas USA. While the Rojiblancos young attack showed signs of life maintaining possession well at different times throughout the game, they again were unable find a way to score and were fortunate to get a point.

“When you have a team on the ropes, you need to find a way to will one into the goal,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “Hopefully, as we continue to grow this season, we realize that these are critical moments in the game.”

Defensively the outcome was positive, as they were able to contain a Whitecaps offense that had scored 8 goals over their previous three home games.  Vancouver currently has two players, Camilo and Eric Hassli, among the top five scoring leaders with three goals apiece.

Defender Heath Pearce played well in place of injured captain Jimmy Conrad, and the team was also lifted by Paulo Nagamura's return to the lineup, subbing on in the 60th minute and playing without any sign of the calf strain that has hindered him since the preseason.

The first twenty minutes saw the ball go back and forth with both sides showing off their attack. The trio of Eric Hassli, Camilo, and Davide Chiumiento led the attack for the home team, displaying familiarity and keeping possession well, while Jorge Flores, and Marcos Mondaino, and Alejandro Moreno, did the same for the Red and Blue.

Vancouver coach Teitur Thordarson’s decision to start midfielder Wes Knight in place of Nizar Khalfan nearly paid off in the 8th minute, when the College of Charleston product blasted a shot off the post on a feed from Camilo.

Later in the 20th minute, Knight fired a first time shot off a Hassli cross from the left side, testing Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who gave up a rebound which Knight was unable to convert.

In the 34th minute burly forward Eric Hassli, who was a problem for Pearce and Andrew Boyens all game, cut between the two defenders and fired a shot that had Kennedy beat, but Vancouver again hit the post.

Chivas USA started the second half on attack and were unlucky not to have scored early. In the 50th minute defender Ante Jazic placed a beautifully crossed ball right onto the foot of an open Moreno, whose first time volley missed wide right.

Two minutes later a streaking Jazic was the recipient of a perfectly placed Mondaino cross but the Canadian international was unable to convert with his head, sending the ball straight into the hands of Jay Nolly, who was the Budweiser Man of the Match.

Chinese striker Long Tan and Omar Salgado made their home debuts in the 80th and 83rd minutes, each holding their own. Seventeen-year-old Salgado immediately showed the skill, work rate, and presence that made him the number one overall draft pick by the Whitecaps FC.

The best scoring chance of the second half came in the 89th minute when Caps defender Jonathan Leathers crossed a ball that trickled to 67th minute substitute Nazir Khalfan, who blasted a low and hard shot which was saved brilliantly by Kennedy.

Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson put it clearly when he said, "We created lots of chances, but didn’t manage to score. It was the same problem Chivas USA had.”

Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser concluded, “For a team that is young and building, we continue to see more and more positives.” Ideally, those positives must continue to progress in one key area -- successfully turning possession into scoring opportunities.

Chivas USA will continue to look for their first win next week, as they travel to Northern California to take on the San Jose Earthquakes.

By 2012 Whitecaps FC will have a new home at BC Place, currently under construction, but for now the 20,809 in attendance did well to create a lively atmosphere on a sunny, spring day, while also showing that Vancouver is a soccer city and excellent addition to Major League Soccer.

By Adrian Yeung
Staff Reporter for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...