Chivas USA Post-Game

When Chivas USA went up 2-0 someone in the press box joked how that was ‘the most dangerous lead in football” and most of us chuckled at the absurdity of the old cliche only to walk into the press conference and hear Preki say:

“The most difficult thing in football is to win 2-0. Do you attack? Do you defend. What do you do?”

Alrighty then.

Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid had harsh words for referee Fernando Galvan, suggesting he was biased against the Crew all game long:

“We were a man down from the time the game started,” he said, adding that he didn’t understand the ejection of Assistant Coach Robert Warzycha (apparently for making a hand gesture). “(The referee) was more concerned with us than he was with the game.”

Schmid also railed against the lack of protection given to the rapidly improving Robbie Rogers, whose shins covered in red welts and bruises were testimony to the attention Chivas USA meted out:

“Unless we want to make sure Robbie Rogers doesn’t ever play well in this league we should let him continue to get kicked and beat up the way he’s getting beat up right now. Its been ridiculous. … The last three games teams are just kicking the crap out of him and he’s getting no protection. Is it like the NBA where you have to be a veteran to get calls? … I pulled Robbie out because they were just kicking the crap out of him and the referee wasn’t protecting him.”

Here’s Schmid on Rogers’ strengths – and a weakness:

“He’s so confident. He’s willing to go at people. … He found his confidence within himself. He knows he can score goals, he knows he can take people on and beat people. … He probably needs to learn how to – I’m going to get in big trouble for saying this – he needs to learn how to embellish when he gets kicked. There are a number of big time players in this league who do it very well including a couple who play in LA. He’s honest to a fault. .. He doesn’t yet have the respect of referees in this league.”

Rogers agreed with Schmid, but recognized he needs to adapt to the, um, compliments other teams have started paying him:

“Maybe when I go down in the box and there’s a little contact, maybe sometimes I should go down a little easier. Some of the guys in the league have mastered that, but I’m still young so maybe I will. … It’s just another challenge for me I need to overcome, maybe play a little bit quicker. … I’ve got to figure out what I’ve got to do, but something has got to change because we haven’t scored in the last two games.”

By the way, the soap opera of Legion 1908 continues.

After boycotting the last two Chivas USA home games in protest because a member of their group was banned from the stadium for fighting with a member of the Ultras (another Chivas USA fan group), Legion 1908 returned. Except they decided to do a tour of the stadium, yell at the Ultras en masse, and when one of their members climbed atop a railing and ignored a security guard’s demand to get down the fan was tossed from the stadium.

Expressing their solidarity (again) Legion 1908 walked out too.

So they missed the team they allegedly support getting a share of the Western Conference lead.

Not surprisingly, the best line of the night went to Schmid talking about Frankie Hejduk’s repeated transatlantic treks for the U.S. National Team:

“Maybe he should get a groin pull. Isn’t there another U.S. player with a groin pull? Maybe he’s going to get a groin pull soon.”

Game details are here.

(And despite the headline it was Chivas USA’s third straight win).

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Final Result: Columbus Crew at Chivas USA

Chivas USA finished up worthy 2-0 victors of the Crew, controlling the game and rarely being put under pressure by nine-man Columbus.

Incidentally, Assistant Crew Coach Robert Warzycha followed O’Rourke into the dressing room prematurely, apparently getting thrown off the bench for daring to stand up on the sidelines and ignoring the ref’s instructions. Sigi Schmid was, to put it mildly, not happy about the decision.

Not as much excitement on the field in the second half as Chivas USA were largely content to sit on their lead, although substitute Ante Razov should have done better after rounding the goalkeeper and missing from an acute angle.

Sacha Kljestan also could have done better late in the game, missing from eight yards with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The Crew’s best chance came from sub Adam Moffat, who replaced Guillermo Barros Schelotto, at half time. Moffat smacked a hard shot from just seven yards that Brad Guzan managed to save.

Back with post-game quotes and more from the locker rooms a little later.

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Half Time: Columbus Crew at Chivas USA

If Chivas USA hangs on to win this game for a third successive victory despite their crippling litany of injuries, Preki and his players will point to a two minute first half outburst as the difference that saw them score two unanswered goals and a frustrated Danny O’Rourke given a straight red.

The first came in the 20th minute, when O’Rourke failed to head clear a Cary Tally cross, Frankie Hejduk managed to flick up the errant ball with his heels and Jorge “Sueno” Flores met the ball with a snapping left-footed volley from 12 yards for his third MLS goal in three games.

A minute later and Chivas USA was up by two.

This time Justin Braun worked his way down the right hand side, beating a Crew defender and delivering a cross Jesse Marsch smashed home from 12 yards.

O’Rourke was given a red card just seconds after the restart, flying in on an unnecessary midfield tackle against Atiba Harris with his studs indecently high. Harris required treatment and left the field, but did return.

A 36th minute blast from Brad Evans was the Crew’s best chance, although Guzan had it well covered.

Chivas ended the half with an 8-2 shot advantage.

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Columbus Crew-Chivas USA at Home Dept Center

Looks like they’ve resodded part of the field after Cal State Dominguez Hills graduation ceremonies tore it up in places.

Chivas USA (3-4-2) fields an unchanged starting lineup for the first time this season:
goalkeeper Brad Guzan; defenders Cary Talley, Bobby Burling, Jim Curtin and Francisco Mendoza; midfielders Sacha Kljestan, Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura; forwards Justin Braun, Jorge Flores and Atiba Harris.

Flores and Harris are expected to play wide, almost as wingers, with Kljestan tucking in behind the strikers.

Defenders Claudio Suarez and Shavar Thomas are on the bench, as is striker Ante Razov.

Maykel Galindo misses his third successive game through injury, one of eight starters on a still extensive injury list.

Crew Coach Sigi Schmid also names an unchanged lineup that includes Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers in midfield (five MLS goals), former Galaxy duo Alejandro Moreno and Ezra Hendrickson and Argentine veteran Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The Crew are 6-2-1.

The game is on FSN.

The game is on FSN and in Spanish on Channel 54, as part of Chivas USA’s new 10-game local Spanish-language TV package.

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Saturday Soccer: Galaxy, Chivas USA Gameday

The Galaxy plays Toronto at 12:30 p.m. on FSN without possible England captain David Beckham and Field Turf shy Abel Xavier, but apparently motivated by AEG head honcho Tim Leiweke who told the team to get their butts in gear – or else.

And, as usual, Beckhamania has ensued in Trinidad & Tobago.

Closer to home, Chivas USA plays the Columbus Crew at 7:30 p.m. at Home Depot Center with a touchy Brad Guzan.

I’ll be back later from the HDC updating the game as usual.

Today’s swag: a free ChivaGirls poster. Oh, and midfielder Jesse Marsch will hang out from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hawthorne Best Buy, 5000 W. 147th St.

In the PDL, the Ventura County Fusion won its first game of the season Friday, while the San Francisco Seals beat Orange County Blue Star 3-2.

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Friday Football: Weekend Preview & More

First off, U.S. Coach Bob Bradley today named a 24-player roster for next week’s game against Spain that’s pretty much the same as the squad for the England game with the addition of recalled Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni.

The Galaxy jetted off to Toronto today for Saturday’s game in Canada (12:30 p.m. Direct Kick).

Chivas USA plays at Home Depot Center Saturday against Rolling Hills’ Estates’ Robbie Rogers and the Columbus Crew.

More on both games Saturday.

In PDL games locally tonight it’s:
San Francisco Seals at Orange County Blue Star 5 p.m. Concordia University.
Fresno Fuego at Ventura County Fusion 7:30 p.m. Buena High.

Los Angeles Legends at Southern California Seahorses 7:30 p.m. La Mirada High.

W-League Saturday
Ventura County Fusion at Pali Blues 7 p.m. Palisades High.

Women’s Premier Soccer League Friday
Los Angeles Rampage v Claremont Stars 8 p.m. Granada Hills.
West Coast FC v Ajax America Women 8 p.m. JSerra Catholic High School.

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U.S. Loses To England & More

It looks like the U.S. misses Landon Donovan as much as the Galaxy.

Without Donovan (tight groin) the U.S. fell 2-0 to England today in London. Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a second half appearance for the U.S. to earn his sixth cap, but a disappointing U.S. team failed to show much. David Beckham had an influential 45 minutes, however, creating England’s first goal from a free kick, naturally.

“First, I would give credit to England,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “Overall, I thought that the first 30 minutes we dealt pretty well with the speed of the game. As we moved on in the half, certainly we hurt ourselves with giving away some fouls around the box to a dangerous team on set pieces, and they took advantage of that. In the second half there was an attempt to push a level up on our end, but we couldn’t sustain enough pressure, and in that regard England on the night was quite good. The second goal for them was excellent passing movement and I give them credit.”

The lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (27-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey, 13-Ricardo Clark (26-Maurice Edu, 78), 4-Michael Bradley, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (11-Eddie Lewis, 68); 9-Eddie Johnson (14-Nate Jaqua, 89), 16-Josh Wolff (19-Freddy Adu, 68).

ENG: 1-David James; 2-Wes Brown (13-Glen Johnson, 58), 6-John Terry (capt.), 3-Ashley Cole (14-Wayne Bridge, 83), 5-Rio Ferdinand; 7-David Beckham (17-David Bentley, 46), 4-Owen Hargreaves, 8-Frank Lampard (21-Gareth Barry, 57), 10-Steven Gerrard; 9-Jermain Defoe (25-Peter Crouch, 68), 11-Wayne Rooney (22-Joe Cole, 79).

Game story here.

Closer to home, U.S. soccer announced today the first round pairings in the U.S. Open Cup.

With the Galaxy out after last night’s loss to the Colorado Rapids, the local representatives are PDL team the Los Angeles Legends.

The Legends host Crystal Palace Baltimore at 7:30 p.m. June 10.

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Galaxy-Colorado Rapids Post-game & U.S.-England Preview

It’s a two for one post tonight since I just returned from the Galaxy-Colorado Rapids U.S. Open Cup qualifier at the HDC and don’t intend to rise early in the morning to blog.

The Galaxy squandered a flurry of first half chances and then fell to the Rapids on an 82nd minute Conor Casey goal.

And, yes, we’ve heard that before.

Limited blogging tonight since I wrote a (Rapids-centric) game story for the Denver-based Rocky Mountain News and was otherwise engaged. Read it here.

The Daily News version is here.

Video highlights here.

Meanwhile, Landon Donovan and David Beckham the U.S. and England face off in London Wednesday (that’s today for most of you reading this).

A (brief) sampling of stories includes:
*Bob Bradley on Beckham and a head to head comparison of England and the U.S.

Oh yeah, and England is fretting about a possible U.S. bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Finally, as a green card-carrying, English-born, U.S. college-educated resident married to a (naturalized) American citizen I feel this man’s pain.

Me? I’m wussing out and hoping for a tie.

‘Night All.

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