Result: Chicago Fire 1 Chivas USA 1

Chivas USA saved their unbeaten home record when Claudio Suarez scored an 82nd minute penalty kick after Brown had brought down Maykel Galindo.

The goal was throughly deserved; Chivas USA had attacked relentlessly and were desperately unlucky not to get a goal in the 72nd minute when a Mendoza volley from close range hit the underside of the bar, yet somehow still didn’t go in.

Guzan secured the tie with an acrobatic fingertip save off a 25-yard Gutierrez blast in the 89th minute that was on its way into the net.

There was even more drama just before the final whistle when Blanco was brought down in the penalty box by Zotinca, but the referee awarded a corner much to the disgust of the Chicago bench.

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio was red carded apparently for not leaving the field while virulently protesting the tackle.

Cups of soft drinks and who knows what else rained down on Blanco as he waited to take the corner, which came to nothing.

Updated: Osorio didn’t speak to the media after the game, although it turned out he was more angry about a previous tackle than the one on Blanco.

Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch, who had just written for this blog about some of the league’s worst unabashed divers, observed in the locker room that he may have to revise his list after dealing with Blanco “cheating all over the place.”

“I know he’s shifty and I know he’s faster than you think and I know he likes to draw contact and I know he likes to fall and he did all that tonight,” he said, adding this was the first Chivas USA home game he had experienced significant support for the opposing team.

“Blanco’s a big draw,” Marsch said. “And he’s a polarizing figure. It’s good for this league. I just wish he’d stay on his feet a little more.”

Did Chicago Assistant Coach Daryl Shore (who spoke for Osario) agree with the diving comment? No.

Claudio Suarez enjoyed scoring on that penalty in a soldout stadium (a real one not the pseudo ones the Galaxy have) with a crowd that reminded him of Mexico.

“Classico’s in Mexico have that kind of passion,” he said. “We gave the fans their money’s worth. It was a great show.”

It was sub Alex Zotinca who surreptitiously slapped Blanco around the back of the head to draw the retaliation that led to Blanco’s 85th minute yellow card, by the way.

And speaking of yellows: Chivas USA striker Maykel Gaylindo will miss the game next Saturday against Real Salt Lake after drawing a 54th minute yellow card.

A politically correct Blanco didn’t say much interesting in the locker room and denied he was guilty of diving.

“You guys saw the game, you saw all the kicks I was getting,” he said.

Fans who haven’t had enough can take in the reserve game at 10 a.m. Sunday on the sunken field near the tennis courts (take a right at the stop sign in front of the fountain).

The Palos Verdes Peninsula’s John Thorrington will play.

Thorrington has been taking things relatively easy since failing to hook on with either the Galaxy or Chivas USA before the season began. He has stayed fit playing with his brother’s club team, FRAM, which plays in Rolling Hills Estates on a superb private facility called Nansen Field (it’s where aging rocker Rod Stewart plays when he’s not marrying another young blond).

Thorrington said he was happy to return to Chicago, especially since the Fire had a new coach (Dave Sarachan had waived him).

“This was the only option I was willing to look into other than (playing in) LA,” he said.

Thorrington said he has recovered fully from the hamstring injury that restricted his playing time to just two games for the Fire last season.

Updated: Game story is here.

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  • Rod La Rocque

    “Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch, who had just written for this blog about some of the league’s worst unabashed divers, observed in the locker room that he may have to revise his list after dealing with Blanco “cheating all over the place.”

    Talk about a F’n cheater, Marsch is one of the BIGGEST cheaters in the league, he has a lot of nerver calling another player a cheater. Who was it that caused Bechkam to be out for so long becaue of a knee injury? It was F’n Marsch. He should have gotten a RED CARD and fined for what how he tackled Beckham.

  • PocketKings

    The Home Depot Center & MLS need to learn about Mexican rivalries

    Saturday nights game between Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire was a second example of how naive The Home Depot Center and MLS are about games that have elements of rivalries.

    The last Classico between Chivas USA and LA Galaxy was the first. After reflecting upon those last two encounters, here are some things that the HDC and MLS need to learn.

    First, rivalry games require the separation of fans.

    This is a common practice in Europe.

    This takes a little bit of coordination between the stadium and the teams, but it really makes a difference. During the Chivas USA-Galaxy game, there were Galaxy fans mixed in the general admission section near the Legion. When the Legion unraveled their flag, which covered the entire section, some of the Galaxy fans, dressed in Beckham Blue jerseys, delayed/disrupted the unfurling of the banner. L

    Later on, some of those fans needed to be escorted out by security.

    During the Chivas USA v Chicago game, the entire stadium had Fire fans sitting alongside Chivas fans.

    For the most part, it was fine.

    But you shouldnt sit Blanco fans that have had a few beers next to a very vocal supporters group. You are only asking for trouble. The reason why the HDC sold out is because Blanco polarizes Mexican soccer fans. You either love him, or you hate him.

    It was after about 90% of the fans had left the game, there was an altercation within the stadium. The HDCs answer to this was to just throw large numbers of people to break up the two-minute fistfight.

    This entire situation was easily avoidable.

    Keep the supporters group separated from non-home team fans. The general admission sections should be reserved for away fans, while the supporter groups should have sat behind the opposite goal.

    When the game was over, security should have created a human wall, cutting off the flow of traffic within the HDC, allowing away fans to exit the Northwestern section of the stadium. Home team fans would exit through the Southern sections and maybe the Northeastern exit.

    Secon, security and the Sheriffs Department need to be more coordinated. Toward the last three to four minutes of the game, fans from both sides were throwing cups of soda and water bottles onto the field.

    The Sheriffs Department just watched, even though Blanco was hit. I hate to say this, but if that was to happen at Dodger Stadium, those fans would have been ejected from the game with little fuss. Even if you dont like the guy, there is no reason why Blanco should be hit while lining up to take a corner kick.

    Chivas USAs Panchito Mendoza was also pelted with a water bottle from the Riot Squad after he scored his goal against Galaxy in their last meeting.

    Every rivalry game I see in South America or Mexico has at least three cops with riot shields to protect players. Of course, I think ejecting fans quickly and quietly sends a much better message. In Europe, these people are banned from entering the stadium for at least five years.

    Going back to the altercation within the HDC at the Chicago game: Where were the Sheriffs deputies?

    It was very obvious that after the game was over, there was a very Sheriffs presence outside. Event security are in charge of the inside. There needs to be more of a coordinated effort between the two groups.

    In Europe, the police are constantly monitoring security cameras within and surrounding the stadium to identify any problems.

    One last gripe: What was going on with the parking situation at the HDC? As we drove past the stadium, the lines for the main parking entrances were huge. So what did the HDC do?

    Park people out in the middle of Timbuktu. Now, before you believe me to be unreasonable, I wouldnt have complained about it if there wasnt a huge section within the HDC that was blocked out. What is up with that?

    The section was clearly visible to anyone traveling east on Victoria Blvd. The next available access to parking sent us through a twisted maze within campus, only to be intersected by another street that would have been a quicker access to the eastern end of campus. The HDC needs to take a few lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth (Disneyland) regarding parking.

    I stopped going to Dodger Stadium for that reason. I was tired of searching for parking and missing the game. I arrived 15 minutes before the game began, and I didnt enter the stadium until some time after the 20th minute.

    These are the things that the HDC needs to address before next season.

    We all want the games to be sold out, to be exciting, and to be safe. So we need to do the things necessary so that a few belligerent fans (that are at every sporting event, everywhere around the world) dont ruin it for all of us.

    And more importantly, for the development of soccer in the United States.

    Nick replies: Thanks for the comments. Reporters are either in the press box during the game or in locker rooms after the game and can’t often appreciate a fans’ perspective.

    Yours is not the first comment or e-mail I’ve received concerning inadequate security at the HDC and I always ensure they reach the appropriate officials.

    Parking continues to be an issue at the HDC, too, and I have also complained to management.

    The bizarre maze of barricades used at the HDC often impedes rather than improves traffic flow. Stadium officials need to get in a car and experience it first-hand sometime (you have an open invitation to drive with me stadium GM Rod O’Connor).

    One thing though – you allowed only 15 minutes to get into a sold out-stadium.

    No matter what the sports venue, that’s not going to get you into your seat on time for the start of the game.

  • PocketKings

    Nick: It’s true! I wasn’t early. But they didn’t make it easy either.