Chivas USA 0 Colorado Rapids 1
*Reporter Phil Collin filed this game story.
*Here’s the perspective of The Denver Post.
Chivas USA lineup – Dan Kennedy, Mariano Trujillo, Jonathan Bornstein, Michael Umaa, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud (Jesus Padilla 64), Marcelo Saragosa, Sacha Kljestan, Jorge Flores (Justin Braun 46), Osael Romero, Maykel Galindo (Chukwudi Chijindu 75)
Fans expected to see a fluid, loose, attacking Chivas USA team under Martin Vasquez.
They got a disjointed, uptight, hesitant Chivas USA that made you wonder whether they were already missing the discipline previous coach Preki instilled or just some wiser heads.
“We were not sharp in the attacking half,” Vasquez said. “We tried to break them down, we couldn’t. If we want to win games we have to be sharper and more hungry.
“In the first half our mobility wasn’t what we wanted,” he added. “We were patient, but our speed of play needed to be faster.”
Midfield was the main problem.
Jorge Flores, who started wide on the left, never got to grips with his responsibilities and was replaced at the half by Justin Braun.
Michael Lahoud never got behind the defense to create problems, Vasquez observed, while Sacha Kljestan “lost a few balls, but it wasn’t just him.”
Tweeted Kljestan after the game: “disappointed with our game tonight, we didnt perform well enough.”
Chivas USA looked like team missing some experience which they were; the likes of Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura, Claudio Suarez and Cary Talley have all retired or departed.
“We’re a young team,” said Jonathan Bornstein. “The Galaxy game will be a good indication of what we learned from this game.”
Notable: New signing Osael Romero of El Salvador, virtually invisible at times in the game drew more attention in the dressing room than on the field; his locker was surrounded by members of the media serving that community after the game.
Phil Collin filed this quote from goalkeeper Dan Kennedy on the team’s performance and his return to competitive action after a year out through injury:
“We let the fans down a bit, but we’ve got a quick turnaround until the clasico on Thursday, so there’s no time for us to dwell on this and put our heads down. We just need to pull it together, evaluate our performance and hopefully we’ll be able to adjust to the game this Thursday.
“I felt very comfortable out there, very confident. I felt my play was strong. I don’t think anyone would have said. ‘Oh, that guy’s been out a year. I felt like I just walked right back to where I was when I left off.”
I thought Colorado Coach Gary Smith summed up the difference between a Preki-coached Chivas USA and a Martin Vasquez-coached Chivas USA, having beaten the same franchise under two coaches in Carson in consecutive seasons:
“They’re a much changed team, there’s a lot of differences in that changing room. They’re trying to play a lot more football. A lot of bodies out and some new bodies in. There’s some cultural changes going on in there. It might take a little bit of time for them to find their feet. They played some very nice football at times.
“Last year this team was very resilient and determined, verging on the spiteful and nasty at times. It was a difficult place to come and difficult individuals to play against.
“This team looks a lot more creative, there’s a lot more movement, it looks like there’s a direction of possession and rotation of bodies and flexibility within the team. I thought they kept the ball ever so well at times.
Something to build on.
And that will make these fans even happier than they are here before Friday’s game in a first for Chivas USA: