Galaxy Shutout Crosstown Rivals 3-0
By Young Kim
LA Galaxy reminded Chivas USA that the SuperClasico is nowhere near a rivalry, shutting out the Goats with 3-0 victory on the “road” at the Stubhub Center on Sunday. First half goals by former Ireland international Robbie Keane and Stefan Ishizaki (his first in the MLS) along with a goal by Baggio Husidic (first in the season) early in the second half gave the LA Galaxy their first MLS win of the season. The victory extends the Galaxy’s winning streak against the Goats to six. Chivas USA’s lack of creativity in the midfield and miscommunication on the defensive end allowed the Galacticos to establish their tempo and control the pitch for majority of the 90 minutes.
“It’s a good win. I suspected that we were going to win a game at some point this year,” LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arenas chuckled. “I think we had such an awkward schedule, it’s been difficult. It’s just good to be playing again, winning a game. It has to establish some confidence in our team.”
“I think we were a bit sloppy, but we could have done better today,” he added.
Robbie Keane capitalized off of a mistake by Chivas USA keeper Dan Kennedy in the 37th minute when Ishizaki delivered a long pass from the left side to Galaxy right back Dan Gargan, who responded with a heading cross into the box. Kennedy misread the cross as it fluttered towards Keane for an easy tap in.
Four minutes after, midfielder Juninho delivered a well-placed pass from the middle of the field to a racing Ishizaki who broke away from Chivas USA center back Carlos Bocanegra. Ishizaki received the ball in the left side of the box and chipped a shot over the diving Kennedy at a tight angle to make it 2-0.
Chivas USA hoped to recuperate after the first half, but in the 56th minute Husidic ended any hope with a nice finish in the the bottom left corner after recieving a pass from Landon Donovan.
The home side struggled all game to get the offense moving, failing to show any sort of rhythm or tempo throughout the match. They were overly dependent on the Argentine Mauro Rosales to create any sort of offense from the wing, as the team plagued themselves with sloppy passing and poor communication.
Their midfielders were overwhelmed by the Galaxy and the team couldn’t find a shot at goal until the 81st minute. Utilizing a 4-3-2-1 diamond formation, the LA Galaxy midfielders controlled the match with their passing and pace, dominating possession for majority of the match.
“Today we played the worst game. As a team, individually and collectively,” Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “We didn’t play well from the beginning. We didn’t feel good. The team never looked good. Today’s game is not something we can take lightly, especially with the LA galaxy. They overplayed us and we never came back. Today was a very bad day for all of us.”
Despite coming off a better start than they have last season, Cabrera was by no means pleased with his team’s performance at home. He still holds onto the belief that his team is still capable of displaying a better show of football in the times to come.
“I believe in this team and I believe in these players,” Cabrera added. “But no doubt in order for us to become a more competitive team in the MLS, we have to be more consistent. We have to take every game like it’s a final. And we cannot just suddenly not show up or not perform. That’s impossible. We have to make sure we come in every game with good discipline and good energy.”
Chivas USA (1-2-2) will play their next match on the road against the Portland Timbers on April 12. LA Galaxy will face the Vancouver Whitecaps at home on April 12.
- Andrew Jean-Baptiste made his first start for Chivas USA this season, playing out of postion at leftback. Despite making good tackles and clearing the ball out of danger multiple times, he almost surrendered the first goal of the game to Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. Defender Omar Gonzalez delivered a long through ball to Sarvas near the box while Jean-Baptiste was caught looking. Luckily for him, Sarvas shot went over.
- Galaxy rightback Dan Gargan received a booking for a sliding challenge on Carlos Bocanegra in the 26th minute. Chivas USA Erick Torres was shown the yellow card in the 40th minute for a dangerous challenge on Ishizaki and Mauro Rosales likewise was disciplined in the 47th minute.
- LA Galaxy have outscored Chivas USA 17-2 in their last six meetings. Donovan and Keane scored nine of those goals.
- Erick Torres four-game scoring streak has come to an end. He’s currently tied with Seattle Sounders Clint Dempsey and Colorado Rapids Vicente Sanchez at four apiece.