SuperClasico Saturday Shocker: Galaxy become Goats Grub

Chivas USA 1 Galaxy 0

It hasn’t happened often in the history of the — hey, Landon Donovan is this a rivalry, now? – derby, but it did tonight: Chivas USA won and deserved to do so even if the goal came on a PK that left the Galaxy a man down for the remainder of the game.

Staff Writer Phil Collin explains in the game story why Chivas USA are a dozen and done in SuperClasicos.

Man of the Match

Chivas USA defender Danny Califf

Yes, 19-year-old Jose Correa got his second goal in as many MLS games in his career.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy looked confident yet again in getting the shutout.

But Califf, an Orange County native returning home (if he can get the renters out), was simply magnificent. A player who had joined the team the day before organized and communicated with the back four, becoming the fulcrum of the superbly marshaled defense. Califf looked like he had been a fixture in the position for years rather than hours.

And it came against a tumultuous backdrop where Califf clearly feels betrayed and hurt by what occurred in Philadelphia. I’ll have more on the circumstances surrounding his departure from Philadelphia later, but doesn’t it sound like Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser understood the significance of that experience on Califf’s psyche and went out of his way to reassure the veteran his qualities were valued?

“We had a great conversation the first day,” Fraser said. “We talked about some of the things this team needs and above all we said don’t think you need to come in here and be anything, but be you.

“I’ve known Danny for a long time (they played on the same Galaxy defence back in 2000). I’ve seen him grow, I’ve seen him mature. I’ve seen him play in some big arenas and his decision making has gotten to be very good with the experience that he’s had.

“Really, it was just come in here and be you; you’re here because you’re you. Don’t try to take on any other different kind of personality or do something different than what you do.

“It was great to see him step in and look extremely comfortable as you’d like to see an experienced center back come in. I thought he really did what we needed him to do tonight”.

If that was Fraser’s intent, I’d say it worked:

“I didn’t feel uncomfortable,” Califf said. “I was worried going in. I tried to concentrate on doing my job well and trying to be a good communicator and be aware of all the guys around me. It just seemed to click into place. My first win in 2012 so I’m overjoyed.

Meanwhile, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena acknowledged the game was pretty indicative of the team’s season so far:

Yeah, I would say that. … I think we’ve played a little better than our record indicates. But tonight the difference in the game was taking a chance. We didn’t do it and give them credit.”

And if Portland beats Chicago Sunday, the Galaxy would sink to the Western Conference basement. Standings.

Galaxy striker Chad Barrett, who reportedly declined to talk to the media after the game, Tweeted instead: “So sick of this.” #lossforwords.

Which for the Galaxy pretty much sums things up.

Next for Chivas USA: in New York Wednesday.

Next for the Galaxy: hosting San Jose Wednesday

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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 and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!