Chivas USA-Sporting Kansas City Postgame

Chivas USA 2 Sporting Kansas City 3

Highlights:

Reporter Phil Collin has the game story.

It was a very different Chivas USA XI to the team that opened the season last year.

Here’s the 2010 lineup on opening day (a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids): 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).

And here was this year’s lineup: Zach Thornton, Jimmy Conrad, Ante Jazic (Victor Estupian 86), Heath Pearce, Zarek Valentin, Nick LaBrocca, Francisco Mendoza (Blair Gavin 62), Ben Zemanski, Justin Braun, Marcos Mondaini (Tristan Bowen 70), Alejandro Moreno

“The old guy survived,” said Jazic, 35, when told he was the only player in the starting XI for Chivas USA on opening day this year and last season. “I actually did not know that.”

Given the wholesale nature of the team’s transformation, no wonder Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser had this comment:

“The mistakes you saw are very typical of a team that’s still jelling.

“We’re still in the process of finding our identity, finding out who we are,” he had said a little earlier. “To give up a goal in the first two minutes and the last two minutes (of the first half) was extremely disappointing because that points more to (a lack of) concentration than anything else and I think the players were extremely disappointed they were down two zero at the half to a team they felt like they had outplayed for a majority of the half.”

Notable: KC had 17 shots in the game, although only five were on target; Chivas USA had only nine shots, but four were on target.

Goal scoring looks to be a problem for Chivas USA, (a defender and a midfielder scored Saturday) however Fraser was adept at putting the best face on the obvious shortcoming:

“If you look at the way our team is, I don’t see us having a 20-goal scorer. I see us having a few seven, eight, nine goal goalscorers. …There is no clear-cut one person. There is no Taylor Twellman or Didier Drogba or anyone like that. I don’t think we have that player. It’s going to be goals by committee.”

I thought that Argentine forward Marcos Modaini was Chivas USA’s best attacking player, especially in the first half when he was a consistent attacking threat on the wing. Fraser was similarly impressed:

“He’s been getting better from the first day that he got here to be honest. He’s an intelligent, crafty, quick player who has been in a number of big games and I thought for his first MLS game he was completely unfazed.”

Sporting Kansas City Coach Peter Vermes had this to say about former CD Guadalajara striker Omar Bravo’s brace:

“I think the first 25 minutes he struggled and why I think he struggled was that he was so anxious being a DP, playing against Chivas USA. There were so many things he wanted to prove. And then he calmed down. And once he calmed down then all of a sudden he started playing his game.”

In sum, this was a game to build on for Chivas USA, despite the result.

We'll give the final word to the victor.

Tweeted Lawndale's Kei Kamara after the game:

“Now time for my Curry Goat like I promised. Ummm it taste GOOOD”

Next for Chivas USA: Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at Home Depot Center

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!