Needed a deep breath after the weekend (and spent the day writing Tuesday’s column), so late blogging.
Chivas USA is one of 16 teams participating in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup at 7 p.m. Tuesday playing a game in Seattle against the Sounders you can see here. Chivas USA lost at this stage of the competition last year to Seattle.
Long Beach State sophomore-to-be Janet Mendez of Palmdale helped Mexico qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in Chile in November, starting and playing 72 minutes as Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-2 on penalty kicks over the weekend.
In the PDL Saturday it was:
Fresno Fuego 1 Los Angeles Legends O
Southern California Seahorses 1 Bakersfield Brigade
Lancaster Rattlers 1 Ventura County Fusion 1
Also this weekend (from the edited Galaxy press release):
In a top of the table clash with the Ventura County Fusion, the Galaxy Rios Under-20’s lost 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Home Depot Center. The Fusion scored twice inside the final 20 minutes to move into a tie for first place in the league with Bakersfield.
The one saving grace of a game like this is that you can always count on the ever-quotable Jesse Marsch to put things in perspective with brutal honesty:
“I can only imagine what that game looked like,” he said. “It must have been painful to watch because it was painful to play in.”
Yes, Jesse it was.
The problem? Too many guys playing like crap, essentially:
“(We’re) not getting enough good games out of guys,” Marsch said. “At the beginning of the year it felt a little bit like we weren’t getting many breaks, but right now it just feels like we can’t get our rhythm going. We can’t put any passes together. We can’t dominate games. We’re just not very sharp. Right now I’m at a little bit of a loss.”
Which pretty much summed it up.
Preki said much the same thing: “We didn’t play well,” he said. “We created nothing offensively in the first half. … Overall I don’t think we created enough opportunities to give ourselves a real good chance of winning.”
Incidentally, I failed to mention Jonathan Bornstein getting burned repeatedly by Dane Richards was the reason for the switches at half time (and somehow failed to mention Bornstein at all). Ahem.
Meanwhile, Red Bulls Coach Juan Carlos Osario is looking forward to reinforcements after losing Altidore (and Reyna and Angel) with two players on the way from South America.
Still, Ante Razov was fun to talk to especially since he was incredulous at his goal (the 111th of his career) that he saw coming from a long way out and actually had to wait until he made his move:
“I realized (Jeff) Parke (was) not paying attention to (full back Kevin Goldthwaite who was making the pass) and he’s about to play a square ball. (Notes Parke started to move forward) I can’t believe he’s still going to play it and he played it and then it was just a race between me and Conway.”
This was a game that never seemed to get up to full speed, ending with the two teams still tied at one apiece.
Chivas USA Coach Preki took central defender Jim Curtin out at half time, pushed Bobby Burling into the middle of defense, moved Cary Talley to right back and inserted sub Atiba Harris into midfield.
That shuffling of the pack appeared to give Chivas USA renewed impetus at the start of the half, Razov hitting a cracker of a direct free kick from 25 yards that required a touch by New York goalkeeper Jon Conway to keep it out.
Two minutes later a Harris cross bounced off a New York defender and then off Justin Braun, a touch that almost beat Conway.
And that was about it.
Braun by the way played the entire second half with duct tape (useful stuff that) stuck to his head after he received a whack in the face from Boyens in the first half as the pair challenged for a ball. Braun required five stitches, which were hastily sewed on the sideline.
A choppy first half with neither team finding their rhythm ended with the teams tied at one apiece on two rather strange goals.
The first came from a direct free kick in the 26th minute when the speedy Dane Richards bested Jonathan Bornstein yet again down the right hand side to draw the foul.
Dave van den Bergh sent the resulting kick curling rather softly into the far corner of the net with Brad Guzan uncharacteristically rooted to the turf as a Chivas USA and Red Bull player attempted to get to it in front of him.
Chivas USA then came close twice within two minutes, Hunter Freeman clearing a chip off the line, then Claudio Suarez seeing a shot from six yards blocked. Chivas USA players appealed for hand ball, but it was clear the ball hit Andrew Boyens arm that was down by his side.
The teams ended the half with five shots apiece.
Chivas USA drew level in first half stoppage time, an errant New York free kick sent behind a Red Bull defender and Ante Razov, with only the goalkeeper to beat, opportunistically seizing on it for a relatively simple goal.
It’s the ( 5-4-4) Red Bulls against (5-6-2) Chivas USA on a lovely night for soccer at Victoria Street.
Chivas USA Coach Preki has named a 3-4-3 formation, although indications are we’ll see a 4-4-2 with Jonathan Bornstein (who is listed as a forward) actually playing at left back.
Brad Guzan is in goal as usual, while Jim Curtin is presumably drafted into the middle of defense alongside Claudio Suarez, leaving Bobby Burling at right back.
Panchito Mendoza is likely wide on the left, with Sacha Kljestan on the right and Carey Talley and Jesse Marsch in the middle.
Up front: Ante Razov and Justin Braun.
Raphael Wicky is a late scratch on the bench (right calf strain). Jorge Flores, Atiba Harris and Shavar Thomas are among the available subs.
For the 3-5-2 Red Bulls, it’s Jon Conway in goal, Hunter Freeman, Jeff Parke and Andrew Boyens in defense; Kevin Goldthwaite, Carlos Mendes, the explosive Dane Richards, Dave van den Bergh and captain Seth Stammler in midfield.
Attackers: Sinisa Ubiparipovic and former Galaxy forward John Wolyniec.
No Juan Pablo Angel or Claudio Reyna, who are out with injuries tonight and, of course, Jozy Altidore is gone.
One press box wag has already observed it’s a bunch of minimum wage players for the Red Bulls.
And while we’re at it here’s a Galaxy-D.C. United preview (it’s a nice try at a different sort of advance, but turns out to be a bit of a stretch since United’s Marcelo Gallardo decided not to play ball). This may be the only preview posted here since the game kicks off on ABC at 9 a.m. and it’s highly unlikely I will crawl out of bed early on a Sunday morning to actually blog. And don’t forget the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany follows immediately after on the same channel.
Fort Collins Force 4 Ventura County Fusion 1 (W-League).
San Jose Frogs 3 Los Angeles Legends 3 (PDL).
Finally (and for no other reason than I could do with a laugh this morning) take five seconds out of your day and watch this contender (that appears to be from a league game in Russia) for the worst penalty kick ever.
Back this evening with more from the Chivas USA game.