Not the most stirring of games.
But both teams got a valuable point.
And Chivas USA pulled into a tie with the Galaxy in the standings with an identical 6-9-6 record.
Preki wasn’t happy:
“I’m disappointed we didn’t get three points. I thought we were the better team on the night.”
It was good to see Chivas USA striker Alecko Eskandarian back on the field. He played the last 31 minutes – which doubled his playing time over two other games this season:
“It definitely felt good just to be on the field with the guys,” he said when asked about his health. “I’m getting there. The other two games I played I played without a groin (muscle). It was completely torn off. We just didn’t know it. It just didn’t show up on the MRI until I got into the surgery and found out it was completely torn off at the bone. It was a miracle I even played those games, let alone scored a goal. So now, everything got fixed, hopefully. I’ve just got to start from step one, strengthening and work on my fitness.
On coming on as sub:
“As a striker any time you come into a 0-0 game you know there are chances there that are waiting for you. I just wanted to help make an impact. We definitely had chances to score and put the game away. In the end it was a little disappointing, but at the same time it was good to be a part of it and create some chances.”
On his injury ordeal:
“These last five months with this mystery injury, not knowing what it is and then surgery and then no surgery. I could probably write a book about the frustration I’ve had and gone through, but I don’t want any sympathy and I ‘m not going to sit here and cry about it. I’m just going to put it behind me. I’m going to focus on right now. The team has nine or 10 games left and we have to get results.”
I spoke with the Earthquakes’ Darren Huckerby, the star player at former team Norwich City. I wore my yellow and green City jersey for the occasion (full disclosure – I grew up in Norwich and remain a huge fan) eliciting a “what the bloody hell are you wearing?” comment from Hucks (I like to wear it when Frank Yallop comes to town; he was a long-serving Ipswich Town defender, the team considered Norwich’s biggest rivals. And Frank did a double take and rolled his eyes.).
Huckerby probably had the quietest of his five MLS games so far, with Chivas USA doing well to cut off service to him:
“As a team we didn’t play well, we didn’t pass the ball well today. As a winger you kind of rely on everybody else getting you the ball so …. we’ll take a point and move on.”
(Incidentally, the Earthquakes didn’t get their first shot on target until the 63rd minute; Hucks took it).
On any comparison between MLS and the Championship, the division Norwich play in:
“It’s a different standard of play to be honest. They’ve got me good players here. It’s probably not as physical here. It’s a lot more rough and tumble over there.”
On how teams deal with him over here compared to England:
“I got double-teamed a lot in England. Not many teams played me one on one. Its been a little bit different here they kind of play me one on one.
He finished the game with two shots, one on goal, four corner kicks and one offside call.
Here’s Yallop on Huckerby:
“He’s dynamic. Tonight for some reason we couldn’t really get him the ball in the right areas. Chivas did a good job of shutting him down. They did a nice job of sort of denying him the ball. But when he did get it, it was exciting for us and everything good came of that when we did get him the ball in space. But we didn’t play well, we didn’t really get him the ball. But having said that when he did get it I thought he was dynamic and had a chance to win the game at the end. He’s a player who’s exciting to watch, but he’s good to have on your team because he stretches teams.
He’s very direct, that’s one of the reasons I’ve really liked him. I’ve seen him for years. He gets it and goes straight at the defender and tries to get in a cross or a shot. He’s not looking to keep the ball, he’s looking to go at people and he wants to make the difference in games and I love that.”
*Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton got his first shutout in his fifth appearance for the club.
*Jonathan Bornstein played on the right side of defense for the first time since last season.
*Chivas USA departs LAX at 8 a.m. Sunday for Panama City, where they play the first match of their home and away CONCACAF Champions League qualifying series against Panamanian club Tauro F.C. at 5 p.m. Tuesday live on Galavision.