Archive | May, 2013

Chivas USA parts ways with ‘Chelis’

Posted on 30 May 2013 by iyeo

After four months in in charge, Chivas USA announced on Wednesday night that it had parted ways with head coach José Luis “Chelís” Sánchez Solá and that Jose Luis Real, currently sporting development director at Chivas Guadalajara, will assume hed coaching duties.

It didn’t seem like the two sides would get to this point when the season started. Chivas USA had performed strongly in the preseason and though it did drop its season opener to Columbus at home back on March 2nd, the club went on a hot streak, getting its first win of the season on March 10 against FC Dallas in a 3-1 come-from-behind victory. A 1-1 draw a week later against the Los Angeles Galaxy followed by wins against the Chicago Fire and the Vancouver Whitecaps had Chivas USA 3-1-1 and sitting near the top of the Western Conference, but the club soon sputtered after that, going 0-6-1 in its last seven games. Chivas USA is currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference with 11 points.

Chelis’ departure had actually come after a win, though it was in US Open Cup play, as Chivas had to rally for a 2-1 win over USL side L.A. Blues at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night. Midfielder Carlos Alvarez scored the equalizer and Keeper Dan Kennedy scored the winning goal, as he was selected to take a penalty kick after Miller Bolanos was fouled in the penalty area.

Comments (0)

Rogers Debuts, Galaxy rout Sounders

Posted on 27 May 2013 by iyeo

It took 76 minutes for Robbie Rogers to make history on Sunday night.

The midfielder had to wait until the 77th minute to become the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional men’s team sport in North America. Rogers came on as a substitute late in Sunday night’s match against the Seattle Sounders, which turned out to be an easy night for the Galaxy. Led by Robbie Keane’s hat trick, the Galaxy were all over the Sounders almost from the start of the match, racing out to a convincing 4-0 win at the Home Depot Center.

“I think our start to the game was real good. Guys had a real good positive attitude about getting out there tonight,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “I think this year, for a large part of the year, we’ve played pretty well. We’ve just been a little inconsistent, a little unlucky at times, and I think at least tonight we rewarded ourselves a little bit and we got the kind of result we deserved.”

Rogers, playing his first competitive match since leaving Leeds United in February, entered in place of Juninho in the 77th minute to an ovation from the capacity crowd of 24,811. Rogers had a few touches and completed a pass in his limited time on the pitch.

“I only had a few touches, so I was happy to get a few touches,” Rogers said. “My running felt pretty good – I felt like I haven’t lost too much speed – but it was 4-0, so it’s hard to say. … I think the real test will come maybe Wednesday or the weekend.”

The Galaxy won the match in the first half, unleashing a barrage against the Sounders backline and keeper Michael Gspurning while limiting Seattle’s scoring chances. LA struck first in the 12th minute, as Robbie Keane crossed a ball into the six-yard box and Right Back Sean Franklin tapped in an open net chance to open the scoring for the Galaxy.

Soon, it was Keane’s turn to put the ball in the back of the net. Keane’s first goal came in the 24th minute. Landon Donovan crossed a ball into the Sounders penalty area, the ball went off LA Center Back Omar Gonzalez, the ball went to Keane and the striker buried the point blank chance in the box without any resistance from Gspurning. Keane’s last two goals came from the penalty spot, the first coming after Center Back Djimi Traore took down Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes in the penalty area and referee Baldomero Toledo whistled for the penalty area, much to the disagreement of the Sounders. Keane’s penalty was initially denied by Gspurning, but Toledo ordered a re-take, as Seattle’s Mauro Rosales was called for encroaching the penalty area before the kick. Keane didn’t miss this time, as he went right while Gspurning went left. Keane’s second penalty came just before halftime, as Brad Evans clipped Juninho from behind in the box at his ankles. This time, Keane went left while Gspurning went the other way.

“It’s always nice to score,” Keane said. “One, two, three or four doesn’t really matter. As a striker, your job is to score goals, so it’s of course great to score a hat trick, but I think the most important thing is getting the three points and bouncing back after the defeat last week against [the New York] Red Bulls, which we certainly didn’t deserve to lose.”

“The Galaxy will jump into U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday when they head to Carolina to face the RailHawks, then it’s onto New England to face the Revolution on Saturday.

Comments (0)

Galaxy introduce Robbie Rogers

Posted on 25 May 2013 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy achieved another milestone moment for its franchise and Major League Soccer, and the potential impact could be felt throughout all of professional team sports as well.

On Saturday afternoon, the Galaxy formally introduced midfielder Robbie Rogers to the team. Rogers, who back in February announced he was gay and also announced he was stepping away from the game after stints in Europe, was acquired in a trade on Friday evening in exchange for midfielder Mike Magee. Rogers is poised to become the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional team sport, which could be as soon as Sunday night.

“We’re pleased to have Robbie as a member of our team,” Galaxy head coach/general manager Bruce Arena said. “He offers qualities that we’ve been looking for, and we’re hopeful that in time, Robbie is going to demonstrate the kind of qualities he has previously showed in this league.”

The price the Galaxy paid to acquire Rogers’ rights was a steep one, as Magee became a fan favorite with the Galaxy faithful and emerged as one of the key cogs in LA’s championship seasons of 2011 and 2012. Magee was acquired from the New York Red Bulls prior to the 2009 season and quickly established himself in LA’s starting lineup. Magee’s presence however was felt during the playoffs, as he scored eight goals in 15 playoff games, with several of those goal either tying or winning matches and/or playoff series.

Magee even added backup keeper duties to his resume back on June 25 2011, a road game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Magee had to play as keeper after its then-starting keeper Donovan Ricketts, suffered an arm injury following a collision with striker Steven Lenhart and the then-backup keeper, Josh Saunders, was sent off on a questionable red card. Magee donned the keeper gloves and remarkably made four saves and kept San Jose out of the back net in a scoreless draw. It is believed that Magee asked to be dealt to his hometown Chicago.

“I had spoken to Mike and this was something he wanted to do,” Arena said of Magee’s desire to go back to Chicago. “No question he (Magee) was a great player, but in order to acquire a very good player, sometimes you have to give up a very good player. I’m hopeful in the end, this trade works out for both teams.”

Rogers, a native of Southern California, had a one-year stint at the University of Maryland in 2005, where he helped the team capture the National Championship that year. His play for the Terrapins that season got him a contract with Dutch side Heerenveen in the Summer of 2006, where he spent about half-a-season and featured on the reserve squad, but was unable to crack the first-team lineup, and the two sides parted way in February of 2007.

Rogers immediately signed with MLS prior to the 2007, with the Columbus Crew winning his rights. Rogers scored three times and assisted one goal in his inaugural season, but the 2008 season was the breakthrough for Rogers as well as the Crew. Rogers scored seven goals in 2008 and assisted three others, and his play in the midfield was huge for the Crew, which went on to win its first ever MLS Cup championship that season. Rogers played with the Crew until the end of the 2011 season, where he appeared in 138 matches for the club and scored a total of 17 goals.

“We have been searching for the last year or two for a player that has the skills to be a flank player, play wide, add a little speed to our club, take on players and cross the ball with both feet,” Arena said. “We’re quite excited about having Robbie here and we look forward to his contributions not only this season, but in the future as well.”

Following the 2011 MLS season, Rogers left MLS to try his luck again in Europe. Rogers signed with English Championship side Leeds United in 2012 and made his debut on February 18 against Doncaster Rovers, but suffered a head injury in that match and was subbed out. Rogers missed several weeks, but returned and was even handed the captain’s armband for one match after entering as a substitute and received his first start on April 14 against Peterborough United, but was subbed out ten minutes later after suffering an ankle injury, an injury that eventually ended his season.

Rogers was loaned out to League One side Stevenage for the first half of the 2012-2013 season. Rogers made nine appearances for the club, but was returned to Leeds in January and the two sides parted way in February. Shortly after his release from Leeds, Rogers made his announcement about his sexuality and announced he was leaving the game. Rogers however accepted an invitation from Arena to train with the squad, and became more and more comfortable about returning to the game.

“I felt like I could step away from soccer,” Rogers said. “I actually thought I wouldn’t miss it that much, and I missed it more and more, and then I saw some clips of me just training [from my days] in Columbus, just fooling around. … So I said, OK, I’ll just come back and train, see how that is.”

The Chicago Fire held Rogers rights, but the midfielder was adamant that he wanted to play closer to his home. Eventually, a deal was worked out between the two clubs and all that is left is for Rogers to receive his International Transfer Certificate, who could come as early as tomorrow and if that happens, Rogers could debut for the Galaxy on Sunday night at home against the Seattle Sounders. Rogers is looking forward to getting back on the pitch, hopefully as soon as tomorrow night.

“I’m very motivated to prove myself,” Rogers said. “I don’t want to be the last cut from the World Cup team, I want to be on the World Cup team. I want to prove to everybody in this room and everyone in the world that I’m a great footballer, a great soccer player. It doesn’t matter that I’m gay, it doesn’t matter where I’m from. That stuff’s not important.”

Comments (0)

Rick Morrison photos from Sounders big win over Dallas FC

Posted on 23 May 2013 by crouchinho

no images were found

These photos were taken by Rick Morrison in the stunning Sounders 4-2 victory over Dallas FC May 18, 2013.

Comments (0)

Grabavoy Brace lifts Real Salt Lake over Chivas USA

Posted on 20 May 2013 by iyeo

The good times have apparently evaporated for Chivas USA.

The team’s 3-1-1 start back in March seems to be a distant memory, and Real Salt Lake further rammed that point home on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center, as Ned Grabavoy’s brace along with goals from Robbie Findley and Joao Plata paced RSL to a 4-1 road win over Chivas USA.

RSL sent Chivas USA to its third straight loss on Sunday night, though the goal it got from Jorge Villafana was the first in an MLS match for the Goats since April 27th against San Jose. In fact, Chivas is 0-5-1 since its 3-1-1 start. RSL meanwhile picked itself back up after a tough loss to the Montreal Impact a week back.

“This is what we have,” Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis “El Chelis” Sanchez Sola “. “We don’t have anything else. I’m very proud of everything that my players do every day. This is just our level.”

Real Salt Lake struck four minutes into the match when Luis Gil led an RSL attack from the right. Gil then played a ball for Javier Morales, who then touched it forward towards a sprinting Ned Grabavoy. The striker got behind the Chivas backline and his shot just outside the penalty area beat keeper Dan Kennedy into the back net for the first RSL goal.

RSL added a second goal four minutes into the second half with even the slightest bit of luck. Chivas’ Martin Ponce tried to play a ball forward, but his ball instead was headed by RSL’s Kyle Beckerman and went RSL’s way, and Joao Plata went on what turned out to be a perfectly time run, as he sprinted, then fired a shot past Kennedy into the back net to double its lead. Chivas USA however had an answer in the 55th minute, as Edgar Mejia crossed a ball into the penalty area, keeper Nick Rimando came off his line to contest the cross along with two other RSL players, but all three were unsuccessful, as Jorge Villafana headed the ball past all three RSL players into the open net to cut into RSL’s lead. Rimando however redeemed himself two minutes later, as Chivas striker Jose Correa brought down Giovani Casillas’ cross in the box, then fired a point-blank howler towards goal. Rimando however showed his poise, as he stoned Correa at the goal line.

“Guys are fighting. It’s not for lack of effort, that’s for sure,” Chivas USA Center Back Bobby Burling said. “Maybe a play goes this way or that way early in the match, and the game’s 2-2. But that’s the game sometimes, and the bounces are definitely not going our way right now.”

After that brief scare, the floodgates re-opened for RSL. Robbie Findley made up for an array of missed opportunities upon entering as a second half substitute back in the 63rd minute with a goal in the 78th minute. Yordany Alvarez crossed a short ball in the box towards the left post and Findley one-timed a chance past Kennedy near post to restore the team’s two-goal lead, and Grabavoy added a stoppage time goal to cap the scoring.

“Today we played better, but it’s not enough in this league,” Chelis said.

Chivas USA will try to pick up the pieces next week, as they travel to Colorado to face the Rapids. RSL will be at home next week against the Chicago Fire.

Comments (0)

Red Hot Sounders Win Big Against Top Ranked Dallas FC

Posted on 19 May 2013 by crouchinho

no images were found

Seattle Sounders looked to keep the winning streak alive by making it 3 in a row versus FC Dallas on a mild night in Seattle. Dallas had been red hot riding a 9 game unbeaten streak (6-0-3) and are 1st on the table comfortably with 6 points on the next in line Portland Timbers. They have been stellar this season at home (6-0-1) but haven’t showed the same strength on the road (1-1-2). Seattle was looking to heat up and keep their winning form as they are slowing moving their way up the table with another 3 points in their home match tonight.

The Sounders brought high intensity high pressure game to the first half and it paid off big. Seattle struck first and quickly with Eddie Johnson hitting his first goal of the night in the 15th minute off of a goal kick that went unchallenged and headed by Ozzie Alonso to split the defenders as Johnson ran on, brought it down and hit it into the side netting after breaking behind the Dallas defense. 15 minutes later Lamar Neagle struck for a second goal for the Sounders. Neagle earned his goal with strong work rate intercepting a pass defensively and taking off on a run to get the ball back on a through ball from Evans. Neagle would go one behind the defense one on one with the keeper and dribble around him to earn his 4th goal of the season and make it 2 consecutive games with goals. Brad Evans missed 2 big opportunities, at 33 minutes Dallas keeper Raul Fernandez made a big save in a one on one and in the 42nd minute Evans missed wide of the goal both on fast breaks served by Mario Martinez.

The top team in the MLS would not be shut out for long though and more scoring came in the second half. At 54’ Dallas earned a corner kick and capitalized on the opportunity. Kenny Cooper went un-marked in the middle of the scrum just outside the 6 yard box and it was an easy finish for the big target forward to put Dallas back in the game. This would end a 272 minute shutout streak for Michael Gspurning. Dallas would go on to score their 2 goal off of a corner kick when Michel placed a beautiful ball into the upper corner directly in from the corner service.

The Sounders answered quickly with a 3rd goal in the 62nd minute more through ball service, this time from Lamar Neagle to Eddie Johnson. Eddie went on to beat the keeper and deliver an accurate shot for his second goal of the night. It was a physical game all night but an elbow to Leo Gonzalez eye would leave him bloodied and sent Blas Perez out of the game with a red card. Center referee Mark Geiger referred to the 4th official and line judge after seeing the injury to Leo and confirmed the flagarant foul before ejecting Perez. The Sounders took advantage of the man up advantage in the 83rd minute with a right footed goal from Obafemi Martins, his third goal of his MLS career. Brad Evans played a crossing ball into Oba after receiving a deflected shot from Eddie Johnson. Obafemi Martins celebrated his goal with the usual round off to double back handspring and the stadium went nuts.

Seattle found many opportunities to get in behind tonight. They played with intensity looking to play the deep ball immediately after winning it with hard work. Lamar Neagle’s goal was a great example of this type of play. DeAndre Yedlin is proving himself to be one of the Sounders’ most dynamic and exciting players. He continues to create unique opportunities for the Sounders with his blazing speed up and down the pitch, his defending is solid state, he rarely gets beat and he is so dangerous going forward. When you have a player like Yedlin it helps the style of play the Sounders are looking to build, he can jump a pass win the ball and play directly into the attack with support creating greater numbers. With the strength at the center mid field with Alonso and Carrasco holding this gives safety in defending for our outside backs to get forward. Alonso had to leave the game with a left groin injury in the 31st minute but his replacement Shalrie Joseph played the best we’d seen of him so far this year and the Sounders didn’t really skip a beat in the mid field. Seattle had 11 shots on goal, this would set a club record breaking the previous high of 10 on June 16, 2009.

In the post-game press conference head coach Sigi Schmid spoke of the importance of this game and the game well executed, a direct style that would look to get in behind the defense. “We want to win our games at home. That’s super important. Being able to measure ourselves against a first place team in our conference is important. Being able to show that once our weapons are healthy that we can score goals on the offensive end was another important factor, as well. We’re trying to use the abilities of the guys we have. We’re using our speed so we’re attacking a little more direct. We also knew this was a team that we could be direct against-we could get behind them centrally and we did that often in the first half. We had a couple of opportunities to get more goals. They had some opportunities, as well, off their set pieces.”

Comments (0)

Driver steers Houston to Victory against LA

Posted on 06 May 2013 by iyeo

The Houston Dynamo’s recent experience at the Home Depot Center, particularly when they have faced the Los Angeles Galaxy, have not been a pleasant experiences for the Dynamo.

Houston had not beaten the Galaxy in Los Angeles since 2007, a span in which it has gone 0-6-1. The last two visits to Los Angeles though were the most painful for the Dynamo, as they finished as runners up to the Galaxy in the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Finals, played at the Home Depot Center.

However, a new season brings a fresh start and a chance to write a new story, and the Dynamo did just that on Sunday night, as keeper Tally Hall denied Landon Donovan at the penalty spot in the first half and Andrew Driver’s one-time volley on the run of play in the second half were the key plays in the Dynamo’s 1-0 win over Los Angeles on Sunday night.

“Overall, we’re very pleased,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “The defending was good, we took our chance very well and still created some other chances as well.”

The first key moment came in the 24th minute. Donovan sprung striker Jose Villarreal for the penalty area, Hall left his line to beat Villarreal to the ball, but he ended up taking down the striker just inside the box and referee Allen Chapman whistled for the penalty spot. Hall was fortunate to avoid the same fate that befuddled Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy earlier in the day when Kennedy was sent off for impeding Sporting Kansas City’s Claudio Bieler from behind after the striker had evaded the keeper inside the penalty area. Hall further amends for his mistake a minute later, as he guessed correctly on the penalty. Donovan shot right and Hall parried the shot away.

“At the end of the day, it’s not really as easy as it used to be because goalies are now more prepared than they used to be, but the reality is that I got to make them,” Donovan said regarding the penalty.

The Dynamo then broke through in the 57th minute. Center Back Bobby Boswell sent a long ball for Giles Barnes, who chased the pass down from the right side into the LA penalty area and withstood the challenge from LA Center Back Omar Gonzalez. Barnes then crossed a ball, which went to the tip of the box, but Driver, who was trailing the play, swooped in from behind and unleashed a powerful one-time volley that snuck past Galaxy keeper Carlo Cudicini, beating him near post to put Houston ahead.

“From there, it was just a gamble,” Driver said of the strike. “I tried to catch up with the play, the ball fell to me and the rest is history.”

Houston maintained the lead throughout the second half, though the Galaxy thought it should have had another penalty in stoppage time, when a volley by Marcelo Sarvas off a corner appeared to have glanced off near the hand area of Houston’s Jermaine Taylor, but Chapman let play continue despite the Galaxy’s plea for a handball.

“We played poorly tonight and deserved to lose,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We weren’t good in all phases of the game tonight.”

Not that those were the only chances the two teams created on the night. LA had the first good look at goal eight minutes in when Mike Magee curled a volley towards the left post, but the shot barely missed, while Houston’s best chance at a first half goal in the 15th minute, as Boswell headed Oscar Boniek Garcia’s corner right at goal, but Cudicini parried away the chance.

Sunday’s game is the start of a busy week for the Dynamo, as they travel to the nation’s capital to face DC United on Wednesday, followed by a home match against Kansas City next Sunday. The Galaxy meanwhile will look to pick themselves back, as they begin their own three-games-a-week span on Saturday with a trip to Philadelphia to face the Union at PPL Park.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here