Final: Chivas USA at Toronto FC

Toronto FC 1 Chivas USA 1

i-5da12dcc8d6c6b93451cd320000bf4a5-maiconsmiss.jpgMaicon’s miss: Former Chivas USA striker Maicon Santos should have scored the game-winner against his old club in the second half, but missed with one of the most selfish, inept efforts seen in front of an MLS net in years (AP Photo).

The best Chivas USA (0-2-1) performance of the young season so far yielded the best result of Coach Robin Fraser’s reign, a road draw against a similarly retooling Toronto team embarking on the post-Dwayne DeRosario era after he was traded Friday to the New York Red Bulls.

Former Chivas USA striker Maicon Santos should have won the game for the hosts in the second half and become the second Toronto player to score against his former club – Alan Gordon got the opener for the Canucks – but perhaps demonstrated why the club didn’t keep him around after an inexcusable miss that came with the Goats’ goal yawning and a teammate begging for the ball.

Alejandro Moreno assumed the captaincy in the absence of Jimmy Conrad (concussion) and responded with a third minute goal. A wide open Alan Gordon popped in the equalizer from a header off a free kick when Justin Braun (why is an attacker attempting to mark a fellow striker?) lost his man.

i-418b6f15d58b5e608ed99938838612cb-braunmiss.jpgOff target man: Justin Braun heads wide and Chivas USA headed home with one point instead of three.

Had Justin Braun done better on a couple of occasions in front of goal, Chivas might have even stolen a win, as Fraser pointed out:

“Without a doubt, I think a point on the road you have to look at and say you’re satisfied with that. Having said that, we felt like we had enough possession that we could have created more chances and we probably could have done a little bit better with some of the chances we had

“When you have a team on the ropes it’s important you try to put away another one and really bury the game,” Fraser added. “But we’re a very a young team and we are learning and I felt it was a positive step forward today. We were very aggressive and if the players smell blood they have to go after it.”

It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means, but relatively speaking, it was an improvement over recent efforts and something to build on.

Gordon wanted more than one point over his former team:

“I don’t think it’s a great result for us at home. You’re always looking for three points, especially against a team like Chivas, that will probably be somewhere around the bottom of the West. It’s a tough result for us, but we’ve got a lot of new guys, a lot of new faces, and it’s going to be a job, getting together in a quick amount of time.

“This is my second trade and it’s my second goal against my former team, so yeah, it felt real good,” he said of the equalizer. “Goals feel good, period, but to do it against my former team, being so soon that I was there, it was kind of sweet.”

Dan Kennedy got his first start of the season over Zach Thornton and Andrew Boyens and Jorge Flores also made their 2011 MLS debuts.

Game story.

Chivas USA lineup: – Dan Kennedy, Heath Pearce, Mike Lahoud, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic, Nick LaBrocca, Marcos Mondaini (Gerson Mayn 67), Ben Zemanski, Jorge Flores, Justin Braun (Victor Estupian 86), Alejandro Moreno

Highlights:

Next for Chivas USA: Columbus (1-1-1) Saturday at Home Depot Center. The Crew beat Dallas 2-0 Friday at home.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer 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!