Final: Chivas USA 2 Sporting Kansas City 3
A frenetic end to the game will have encouraged Coach Robin Fraser who saw his team get better as the 90 minutes wore on.
Kansas City is now 10-4-2 all-time in season openers, the best record of any MLS team.
Tonight’s attendance: 18,122.
Chivas USA scored a second goal from a corner kick tonight in the 84th minute to give them a glimmer of hope.Davy Arnoud could only clear the corner as far as Nick LaBrocca on the 18-yard line, who volleyed it back into the box. Ben Zemanski beat the offside trap to score from five yards out.
Zach Thornton saved from point blank range in the 87th minute.
Omar Bravo has a second in the 74th minute after toe-poking a shot around Zach Thornton. He applied the finishing touch after goalkeeper Jimmy Nielson had hoofed the ball upfield and three headers later the ball made its way to Bravo. Lawndale’s Kei Kamara supplied the final header and got the assist.
It’s the 70th minute now and Jimmy Conrad, who has been a great leader in the middle of defense tonight, looks to be sucking air to me.
Tristan Bowen has come on for Marcos Mondaini.
Chivas USA pulled one back in the 56th minute from a Heath Pearce corner. The kick came off what appeared to be C.J. Sapong’s back and fell to Jimmy Conrad who scored from close range.
Chivas USA co-owner Jorge Vergara made a visit to the press box at halftime – I think that could be his first visit since the first Chivas USA season in 2005 – and said it was “possible” more players from CD Guadalajara could come to Chivas USA on loan in the summer.
He also called Fraser a ‘bright guy” and said Interim General Manager Jose Domene – someone who understands both U.S. and Mexican culture, which the front office lacked before – was doing a “good job.”
Chivas USA had just one shot on target in the first half, BTW.
KC scored at either end of the first half, Omar Bravo opening his MLS account with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time after Zarek Valentin completely missed the ball and the former CD Guadalajara striker easily chipped Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton with his first shot on target.
The short story: two defensive errors, two goals conceded.
By the way, not only was the first KC goal the quickest the team has ever scored, it’s the fastest goal by a starter IN MLS history. Three other players scored in the second minute of their MLS career, but they all came on as subs.
We’re a half hour into the game, the “Super Moon” has put in an appearance to the east and Jimmy Conrad made the referee’s notebook after taking down Sapong on the outside of the box with a WWE-like move.
Chivas USA has settled down since the opening whistle, but haven’t made that much headway with a three-man front line.
On the other hand, we haven’t seen much of former CD Guadalajara striker Omar Bravo for KC either.
Marcos Mondaini has been Chivas USA’s best attacking threat so far and is posing problems for KC down the left wing.
That didn’t take long.
Chivas USA fell behind after just 1:45, Luke Sassano taking a free kick, Ben Zemanski utterly failing to clear the danger and rookie C.J. Sapong scoring for KC on his MLS debut.
Not a good sign for Goats fans.
The MLS season is up and running with a vengeance.
Former Chivas USA players exchanged goals as Maicon Santos scored for Toronto and Atiba Harris replied for Vancouver as the Whitecaps won the all-Canuck clash 4-2 in their MLS debut.
Thierry Henry missed a penalty for the Red Bulls, but Juan Aguedelo didn’t from the run of play as New York downed former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid and his Sounders 1-0 who start the season 0-2.
And Charlie Davies scored twice on his MLS debut as last season’s worst team beat one of last year’s best and D.C. United downed the Columbus Crew, 3-1.
So now we turn out attention to a rebranded Kansas City playing a revamped Chivas USA in Carson in the first of two games at the HDC on the opening weekend of MLS play.
Coach Robin Fraser has sent out what is on paper at least a 4-3-3 formation in his MLS coaching debut.
The only player in the starting lineup who started last year’s corresponding fixture: defender Ante Jazic.
Here’s Fraser’s starting XI: Zach Thornton-Heath Pearce, Jimmy Conrad, Zarek Valentin, Ante Jazic-Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, “Panchito” Mendoza-Justin Braun, Marcos Mondaini, Alejandro Moreno.
Bench options include Mariano Trujillo, Blair Gavin, Michael Lahoud, Tristan Bowen and Victor Estupinan.
KC has Lawndale’s Kei kamara listed as a midfielder, incidentally. Teal Bunbury is on the bench.
I’ll up date this post as the game progresses.
The game is live on Prime.