Archive | August, 2009

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One year ago in American Soccer News

Posted on 31 August 2009 by ASN Staff

We proclaimed a “possible paradigm shift” in the power structure of Major League Soccer after a trio of 3-0 victories by the Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls and DC United (ASN, Aug. 26, 2008).

Clearly, we were wrong on two of the three. DC United didn’t even make the playoffs last season and the Red Bulls only did so as the very last of eight teams. While New York went on an improbable playoff run to capture the Western Conference title before losing MLS Cup, this is now viewed as an aberration after the depths to which the team plunged in 2009. That leaves Columbus, which went on to capture the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup and is this season once again atop the Eastern Conference, as the surviving “new force”.

Of course, with parity the order of the day in MLS, can there really be (serious) talk of individual team dominance of any kind?

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Red Bulls win second straight, eye sixth place

Posted on 31 August 2009 by arozsa

Richards got the game winner

After not winning a game since May, the New York Red Bulls have now won two straight after a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Columbus Crew Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Dane Richards scored in his second straight game for the home side as they climbed within five points of an improbable basement escape in the Eastern Conference with six games to play.

It may be too late to matter, but even a modest winning streak is a welcome tonic for a long-suffering franchise toiling through one of the worst non-expansion seasons in leauge history.

“Very happy to get another win,” said Interim Coach Richie Williams. “We haven’t had a whole lot this year so I’m proud of the guys.”

Columbus, still reeling from a 5-0 Champions League meltdown in Mexico midweek, rested key attacking starters Robbie Rogers, Alejandro Moreno and Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

“Jason (Garey) and Lenhart are very good players,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “They were a little bit fresher than the other guys, that’s why I started them.”

However complementary their manager might have been, all three of the rested starters made late cameos, but were unable to provide the final touch the visitors lacked all night.

The clearly travel worn Crew, along with with the play-out-the-string mentality of the Red Bulls and typical drudgery of the concrete-like surface at Giants Stadium, made for a game that was destined to be mired in midfield. The chances were few and far between in the first half, but as the Crew threw men forward for their numerous set piece opportunities, the space began to open up for New York on the counter attack.

Richards broke out in the 53rd on such a chance, but was unable to find his teammates running the channels and his tame effort from distance was blocked. He made no mistake on a similar circumstance 10 minutes later, after picking up a deflected cross from the Crew’s Frankie Hejduk. With no teammates in support and one man to beat, he side-stepped his defender and slotted past Columbus reserve goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who was caught halfway off his line.

“I was just trying to get it under control,” said Richards, who bumped his league tally to three with the goal.

“I waited until he backed up into the box and I took him one-on-one and finished it.”

Hejduk, who was unable to recover on the play after getting tangled up with Juan Pablo Angel, earned a yellow card for protesting what he seemingly felt was a deliberate attempt by Angel to take him out of the play. The Columbus defender declined to speak with reporters after the game.

New York, now seemingly restored in confidence during the most difficult season in recent memory, plays host to the struggling Kansas City Wizards next week. A third straight victory would put the interim Williams’ win tally on par with the departed Juan Carlos Osorio’s total for the season. Additionally, it would give the Red Bulls a fighting chance of finishing the season in something other than last place; something that would surely give weight to Williams’ application for the full-time position.

Despite all the nuances, there was no mistaking the biggest motivating factor.

“I don’t want to be remembered in history for being part of the worst team in the MLS,” said Angel.

Meanwhile, in the land of things that actually matter for this season, the Crew gave up a golden opportunity to move into the pole position for their second straight Supporters’ Shield after Houston and Chicago also lost this weekend. Their brutal September schedule continues next week with a trip to the ultimate nightmare CONCACAF venue, Estadio Saprissa, followed by a weekend league fixture at Chicago.

New York Player Ratings

Coundoul – 5 –
Didn’t have to make any big saves, but made things plenty interesting by repeated flapping at crosses. If Schelotto were given more than 5 minutes to work with, he would have been promptly punished.

Petke – 7 –
Typically well suited to match up against physical forwards, and did not disappoint, rendering Steven Lenhart (the love-child of Bill Laimbeer and Kurt Rambis) ineffective all night.

Boyens – 6 –
Steered clear of the gaffes that had plagued him from time to time, and so he gets a solid rating. Lost track of Jason Garey a few times in the first half, but was fortunate that his finishing was atrocious.

Borman – 5 –
Struggled with Ekpo early on, but tightened up as the game went on. Made a crucial clearance off the line in the first half. Did not offer much going forward.

Johnson – 6 –
Solid down the right, and presented the best service on the squad. Needs to keep his composure out there, though.

Stammler – 5 –
Looks thoroughly worn out, and spent most of the day chasing the play. Looking forward to seeing this guy play on a grass field day in and day out next year.

Ubiparipovic – 5 –
Chased and worked alongside Stammler. Had some neat connecting play, but also took a few wrong angles and had a few bad giveaways.

Richards – 6 –
Got the game winner, perhaps even despite himself, after spurning several chances. His teammates were as thrilled for him after the goal as they were frustrated after he repeatedly missed them in space.

Rojas – 4 –
Was this guy even on the field? Pulled for Kandji early in the second half, and the difference was palpable. Looks to be on the first plane back to Venezuela when the season ends.

Wolyniec – 7 –
Made himself a constant nuisance up top and was unlucky not to score after absolutely tattooing the near post in the second half. A savvy, effective veteran who is willing to play third or fourth fiddle on an MLS is a player that New York, whomever is calling the shots, would be insane not to bring back.

Angel – 7 –
Perhaps he’s not the DP caliber 20 goal scorer he was when he came into the league, but gave 100% for the cause, which usually meant coming back to midfield to get the ball and get whacked. Get this guy on a grass surface, with another high caliber forward beside him, and 15 goals is a possibility.

Subs
Kandji – 7 – Impacted the game immediately when he came on, streaking up and down the left side. Spent the rest of the game hitting the turf to mixed success.

Sassano – NR – Came on late to spell the midfield.

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Break out the Red Bulls!

Posted on 30 August 2009 by arozsa

After not winning a game since May, the New York Red Bulls have now won two straight after a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Columbus Crew Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Dane Richards scored in his second straight game for the home side as they climbed within five points of an improbable basement escape in the Eastern Conference with six games to play.

ASN’s Adam Rozsa reports from East Rutherford, N.J. and supplies Red Bulls player ratings.

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Becks strike wins SuperClasico for Galaxy

Posted on 30 August 2009 by ASN Staff

Slowly but surely, David Beckham is starting to get back into the good graces of Los Angeles Galaxy fans.

Finally, Becks is giving Galaxy fans something to cheer about

Beckham finally put his imprint on the Superclasico rivalry, as his strike from about 25 yards out in the 80th minute was all the Galaxy needed as it outlasted Chivas USA 1-0 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

“That was a hard-earned three points,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “Our concentration and discipline over 90 minutes was real good.”

Aside from winning the Honda Superclasico for the fourth time in the five-year history of the in-stadium rivalry, the win enables the Galaxy to stay in second place in the Western Conference with 38 points, two points behind the Houston Dynamo pending the outcome of the Dynamo’s match with the Colorado Rapids. Chivas USA meanwhile is now tied with Real Salt Lake for fourth in the conference and is also jammed into a three-way tie with the New England Revolution for sixth place in the MLS playoff picture.

“I thought we deserved at least a point off the match,” Chivas USA defender Paulo Nagamura said. “We played pretty well for the most part (and) we’re disappointed we lost.”

After allowing Chivas to control the offense in the first half, the Galaxy turned the tables in the second half, holding Chivas to only one shot while attempting seven themselves. No shot was more important for the Galaxy than the sixth attempt, which came in the 80th minute. It started when defender Todd Dunivant threw an inbounds pass into the penalty area. The ball went off another defender, Omar Gonzalez, veered off to the right and Beckham one-timed a shot that sailed past Chivas keeper Lance Parker, hit the left post and cleared the goal line.

“Being a wet night and a wet pitch, I had to hit it down because it was bouncing awkwardly,” Beckham said. “Sometimes, it can end up in the back row, but fortunately, it ended up in the back of the net.”

Chivas was the clear aggressor in the first half, out-shooting the Galaxy 8-3. Chivas’ first real look came on a fast break when midfielder Sacha Kljestan fed a ball to forward Mykael Galindo, who shot immediately for the left post, but was denied by Ricketts. Galindo had another chance just before halftime, as he tracked down a long ball despite the Galaxy’s attempt at the offside trap. Galindo raced for goal and again fired for the left post, but instead hit the wrong side of the net.

“Chivas played well,” Arena said. “They came at us hard (and) they were extremely aggressive in the first half.”

Both teams will have next week off before returning to the Home Depot Center the following week. The Galaxy will host FC Dallas on September 12 and Chivas USA will host the Revolution the following day.

Match Facts

Chivas USA (10-9-3) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (9-4-11)
Aug. 29, 2009 — The Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary:
LA — David Beckham 1 (Omar Gonzalez 1, Todd Dunivant 2) 80

Lineups:
Chivas USA — Lance Parker, Marcelo Saragosa, Yamith Cuesta, Carey Talley (Eduardo Lillingston 81), Jonathan Bornstein, Jesus Padilla (Chukwudi Chijindu 88), Jesse Marsch (Bojan Stepanovic 84), Paulo Nagamura, Sacha Kljestan, Maicon Santos, Maykel Galindo,

Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Guppy, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud, Shavar Thomas

Los Angeles Galaxy — Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Stefani Miglioranzi, Eddie Lewis (Chris Klein 68), Jovan Kirovski (Alan Gordon 75), Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 86),

Substitutes Not Used: Leonard Griffin, Bryan Jordan, Tony Sanneh, Josh Saunders

Misconduct Summary:
CHV — Marcelo Saragosa (caution; Tactical Foul) 26
CHV — Maykel Galindo (ejection; Violent Conduct) 82
LA — Chris Klein (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
CHV — Paulo Nagamura (caution; Reckless Tackle) 92+

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland; Corey Rockwell
4th official: Jasen Anno
time of game: 1:52
attendance: 27,000
weather: Clear -and- 76 degrees

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Seattle, Toronto draw in exciting scoreless match

Posted on 30 August 2009 by nschiffler

Perhaps it was fitting that Seattle and Toronto FC tied on Saturday afternoon at Qwest field in a game that was a must-win for both clubs.

Ljungberg will miss the Sounders next match due to yellow card suspension

It was an especially frustrating result for the home side, with a 0-0 draw at the final whistle. Worse yet for the Sounders is that Freddy Ljungberg picked up yet another yellow card for dissent, and will miss the next match. All of this will put Seattle in an even more precarious position in terms of making the playoffs.

The men in rave green will feel disappointed to wind up with a draw in one of their few home games left, but also relieved to get the single point. Toronto were the better team in the first half, sometimes overwhelmingly so. It wasn’t until the second half that Seattle began creating dangerous chances and controlling the run of play.

But it all started off terrible wrong for the Sounders, as Toronto had a golden chance inside three minutes. Star forward Dwayne De Rosario eluded a flailing Kasey Keller, but missed the open net from only a somewhat difficult angle. Five minutes later De Rosario had a fairly free header but nodded wide.

Toronto were completely dominating possession, and as if life couldn’t get worse for Seattle, starting defender Tyrone Marshall was forced off after 19 minutes due to a knee injury.

The Canadian side kept on attacking at will, and had the best chance at a goal all game four minutes later. Amado Guevara hit a vicious curling shot from outside the 18-yard box, but it clanged mercifully off the crossbar.

While Seattle began controlling the ball more after half an hour of being dominated, it was Toronto again that nearly scored, but in the 36th minute De Rosario skidded his shot just wide of the post with Keller rushing at him. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado then headed a free kick just wide. Still, the half had completely belonged to TFC.

Eventually in the second half, Seattle would begin forcing themselves back into the game. Good interplay between Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani set up Osvaldo Alonso for a shot, but it was well saved. Just after, in the 63rd minute, Ljungberg got free on a breakaway but his strike was palmed over the bar by Stefan Frei. The Swede got another chance moments later but missed just wide from long range.

Soon, though, Ljungberg again let his emotions get the better of him. What began as an altercation between Hurtado and De Rosario in the 70th minute turned into a bit of a scrum. However, Ljungberg felt compelled to speak his mind to the referee, and was rewarded with an unnecessary yellow card. It took both Hurtado and Patrick Ianni physically restraining Ljungberg to prevent him from likely getting sent off.

Despite the fracas, the Sounders kept attacking. Alonso missed high with a flamboyant attempt at a bicycle kick. Then substitute Sebastien Le Toux was free on a breakaway around the 75th minute, but inexplicably crossed when he had an open shot and the ball was cleared.

In stoppage time, Le Toux was again played through into the box, but with only the keeper to beat he rolled the ball tamely into Frei’s grateful gloves. Then just before the final whistle, Alonso rounded one defender and had a chance from just a few yards out – but at an extremely difficult angle, which Frei was able to cover and save. There would be no goals on the afternoon, no clear winner, and no boost for Seattle’s suddenly dwindling postseason chances.

Sounders player ratings

Kasey Keller – 5.5
Yes, he had a clean sheet, but he only had one save to make, some of his distribution was bad, and he was beaten several times in the first half. Lucky not to give up a goal.

Leo Gonzalez – 5
The speed of Marvell Wynne gave him a little trouble. No major breakdowns, but gave up a lot of space, especially early on.

Tyrone Marshall – 4.5
Came off early due to injury, but during the 15-odd minutes he was playing, Seattle’s defense was a total mess.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – 7
Probably Seattle’s man of the match by default. Bailed out the defense on several occasions and came very close to scoring.

James Riley – 6
Reasonably solid in defense and actually combined well with Zakuani on a couple occasions. Look for them to do that more. In coming matches – and even next year – that could be a real strength for Seattle.

Freddy Ljungberg – 6.5
I’m not going to take away points for his yellow card. He was probably Seattle’s most dangerous attacker. On the other hand, he needs to learn to shut his big fat Swedish mouth.

Brad Evans – 5
Almost anonymous. Most of the game, whether by design or accident, he was dropping extremely deep, almost in a second holding midfield position alongside Alonso. For the first 30 minutes, it seemed like Toronto exploited this and dominated the midfield possession. Evans has got to do better.

Osvaldo Alonso – 6
Not his best game defensively as an enforcer. De Rosario had his number. He did, however, create a few good chances on offense and had at least three very good looks on goal.

Steve Zakuani – 5.5
Was quiet much of his time on the pitch, but did link with Riley well and showed a bit more variety in his attacking moves.

Nate Jaqua – 5.5
Worked hard, won some headers, and didn’t get anything to show for it.

Fredy Montero – 5
Worked hard, didn’t win any headers, and didn’t get anything to show for it.

(Sub) Patrick Ianni – 6
Forced into action early on for Marshall, he didn’t look out of rhythm when he came in and actually solidified the defense a bit. Credit to him for keeping Ljungberg under (relative) control during the 71st minute altercation.

(Sub) Pete Vagenas – 4
Why would you ever bring in Vagenas on purpose in a game where you need a goal? I don’t think he played one useful ball forward in his entire 30 minutes on the field.

(Sub) Sebastien Le Toux – 5.5
He was dynamic in sparking the Sounders attack once he came off the bench, but absolutely wasteful when he got near the goal.

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Galaxy capture ’09 SuperClasico on Becks strike

Posted on 30 August 2009 by iyeo

Finally, Becks is giving Galaxy fans something to cheer about

David Beckham finally put his imprint on the SuperClasico rivalry, as his strike from about 25 yards out in the 80th minute was all the Galaxy needed as it outlasted Chivas USA 1-0 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Aside from winning the Honda Superclasico for the fourth time in the five-year history of the in-stadium rivalry, the win enables the Galaxy to stay in second place in the Western Conference with 38 points, two points behind the Houston Dynamo pending the outcome of the Dynamo’s match with the Colorado Rapids. Chivas USA meanwhile is now tied with Real Salt Lake for fourth in the conference and is also jammed into a three-way tie with the New England Revolution for sixth place in the MLS playoff picture.

Ivan Yeo reports from Carson, Calif.

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Sounders, TFC play entertaining scoreless draw at Qwest

Posted on 30 August 2009 by nschiffler

Ljungberg will miss the Sounders next match due to yellow card suspension

It was an especially frustrating result for the home side, with a 0-0 draw at the final whistle. Worse yet for the Sounders is that Freddy Ljungberg picked up yet another yellow card for dissent, and will miss the next match. All of this will put Seattle in an even more precarious position in terms of making the playoffs.

The men in rave green will feel disappointed to wind up with a draw in one of their few home games left, but also relieved to get the single point. Toronto were the better team in the first half, sometimes overwhelmingly so. It wasn’t until the second half that Seattle began creating dangerous chances and controlling the run of play.

Nick Schiffler reports from Qwest Field and supplies player ratings for the home side.

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After mid-week victory, RSL look forward to the road

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake continues to cling to playoff hopes this season, after dispatching their Western Conference rivals, Chivas USA, 4-0 on Wednesday night. With the win RSL move into a tie for fifth place in the West and are now only five points out from second place Los Angeles Galaxy. They now shift their focus to the road as they tackle the Kansas City Wizards Saturday in another crucial battle.

Not only did RSL start the night with a unique lineup, giving recent acquisitions Pablo Campos and Rachid El Khalifi the start up top in the 4-3-3 formation, but they also debuted a mishmash kit of road jerseys with home shorts due to a prematch mix-up. After the match, it appeared that at least one of these changes paid dividends, as it was new boy Campos that opened the scoring right before half, taking a beautiful cross from Fabian Espindola and nodding the ball home. It was Campos’ first goal in an RSL kit and a well deserved pay off after controlling possession in the final third for much of the first half.

The second half continued to produce more of the same for RSL, as they seemed to loosen their style of play after securing the go-ahead goal. In fact, RSL out-shot Chivas 16-6 for the match, putting a shocking 11 of those shots on goal. However, Chivas still continued to press and the match felt within their grasp until a stunning individual effort by Espindola pushed it out of reach.

After taking a long pass from Andy Williams over the top, Espindola found himself in wide-open space on the left wing. Pressing former RSL player Carey Talley back towards goal, Espindola found just enough space to the side and launched a left-footed rocket past replacement keeper Lance Parker. It was Espindola’s first multi-point performance in over a year and his first goal for RSL this season. Noted coach Jason Kreis after the match: “I thought he was fantastic. I was pleased with his service on the first goal, an excellent choice by him, and the goal he scored was very pleasing because I know he’s been extremely frustrated to not score more than he has this year. For me, that’s a Fabian Espíndola goal – we’ll usually see one of those every day in training.”

It took substitute Robbie Findley just ten minutes to ice the victory, victimizing Talley two more times for his 9th and 10th goals of the season. Both goals came off of perfect passes through middle by Chris Wingert and Clint Mathis, leaving Findley isolated on the left side of the box where he could use his speed and skill. Findley is the first RSL player to score in double digits for the season since Jeff Cunningham netted 16 in 2006, and he currently sits tied for second place in the race for the MLS Golden Boot, only one goal behind leader Conor Casey.

While the victory gives RSL a much-needed boost, the team can’t celebrate for too long as they now shift their focus to the Wizards. While they have been a disturbing 1-8-2 on the road this season, there is reason to believe that victory this weekend is obtainable. The Wizards have been in a tailspin over the past two months, going winless and earning only 6 total points since May 30th .It was this ineptitude that cost previous coach Curt Onalfo his job on August 3rd Often this sort of change can spur a late season change of form and lead to positive results in the face of overall disappointment. However, for the Wizards the positives have been hard to find, particularly after losing 1-0 to Western Conference cellar-dwelling San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday.

If RSL hope to continue their hot streak, they must do it without the services of midfielder Will Johnson who will miss the match due to yellow-card accumulation. After delivering a stunning performance on Wednesday, many are anticipating another spotlight performance by Williams in place of the injured Javier Morales. However, it appeared late in the match Wednesday that Williams was gassed and out of energy, meaning the 31-year-old midfielder might not be properly recuperated by Saturday. If that’s the case, fans could see another unique lineup Saturday with another list of new faces ready to step in and perform.

The match kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MT and can be seen locally on KUTV 2.2 Digital / Comcast 111.

NEWS & NOTES:
• It was announced Thursday that both RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman and forward Robbie Findley were named to the U.S. Men’s National Team for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador at RSL’s home Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, September 5, and four days later at Port-au-Spain, Trinidad against Trinidad & Tobago. Neither player will miss time for RSL due to a team bye week. Noted Beckerman: “Wearing the U.S. badge in Rio Tinto Stadium in front of Real Salt Lake’s fans will surely be a special opportunity. I can’t wait for September 5.”

• The mysterious saga involving striker Yura Movsisyan continues to labor on. After signing a contract with Danish side Randers FC that would go in effect at the close of the season, many feared a lame-duck scenario. Instead, Movsisyan played admirably and single-handedly led a comeback against FC Dallas on July 24. Since then, however, he has been sidelined with a rotator cuff injury and has been the subject of many rumors. Some see the injury as a smoke screen by RSL officials due to Movsisyan’s distracting and divisive presence in the locker room. Others continue to validate the injury, and note that he will see out the remainder of his contract in Salt Lake. He is again listed as doubtful for Saturday’s match and no timetable is set for his return.

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Season’s last SuperClasico packed with meaning

Posted on 29 August 2009 by iyeo

Not since last season has the Honda Superclasico meant so much in the Western Conference standings than what will take place at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA head into Saturday’s LA Derby as the second and third place teams respectively in the West. Even more important, Chivas is only two points behind the Galaxy, making Saturday’s third and final installment of the 2009 Superclasico perhaps the biggest it has ever been in the four-year history of the in-stadium rivalry.

After losing at home to Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 two weeks ago, the Galaxy rebounded with a 2-0 win against the host Chicago Fire on August 19 despite the absence of midfielders David Beckham and Eddie Lewis, both of whom were serving red-card suspensions. Both came back for the Galaxy’s match against DC United three days later, and the two teams played to a scoreless draw.

The four points earned last week enabled the Galaxy to remain in second place in the conference with a record of 8-4-11 and 35 points. Chivas meanwhile is 10-8-3 and its 33 points leave them tied with the Sounders for third in the conference.

After going nearly a month without a win, Chivas started turning things around with a pair of wins against the New York Rd Bulls and Toronto FC respectively the last two weeks. Chivas however missed out on an opportunity to overtake the Galaxy earlier this week when it lost to Real Salt Lake 4-0. The team’s fate that night was sealed when keeper Zach Thornton suffered a quad strain in the match and his status for tonight’s match is in doubt.

Despite the lop-sided defeat, Chivas is still a factor in the MLS playoff chase. Its resurgence has been buoyed by two acquisitions. Forward Jesus Padilla is on loan from parent club Chivas Guadalajara as is another forward, Brazilian Maicon Santos, from Israeli club Ironi Kiryat Shimona. Another player who has been loaned out to Chivas USA is Colombian defender Yamith Cuesta, who last played with Colombian club Expreso Rojo. Cuesta is expected to be available for Chivas on Saturday night.

The Galaxy currently hold the advantage in the Honda Superclasico. After the two teams played to a scoreless draw in its first matchup back on April 11, the Galaxy seized the advantage two months later with a 1-0 win over Chivas. The Galaxy’s goal came courtesy of Edson Buddle in the 30th minute. Buddle is listed as questionable for Saturday’s match as he has missed a month with a sprained foot.

This will not be the first time the two teams met with big implications in the standings. Last year on July 10, the Galaxy and Chivas were tied for first place heading into that match. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw that night. Ante Razov opened up the scoring in the 15th minute, the Galaxy equalized on and Edson Buddle strike in the 72md minute, and Los Angeles had one last chance to steal the win in stoppage time, but Brad Guzan, playing in what was his last match before being sold to English club Aston Villa, denied Carlos Ruiz with a kick save in the box.

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Season’s final SuperClasico holds the key

Posted on 29 August 2009 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA head into Saturday’s LA Derby as the second and third place teams respectively in the West. (Left, scenes from one of the derby’s first renditions this season). Even more important, Chivas is only two points behind the Galaxy, making Saturday’s third and final installment of the 2009 SuperClasico perhaps the biggest it has ever been in the four-year history of the in-stadium rivalry.

Ivan Yeo reports from Southern California.

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