Chivas USA-Sporting Kansas City Preview

Chivas USA is hoping it’s finally heading in the right

direction, but earning consecutive wins for the second time this

season might prove difficult.

That’s because Chivas will next face Sporting Kansas City, which

will try to add to a nine-game unbeaten run Saturday night at

Livestrong Sporting Park.

After three consecutive one-goal defeats and a draw, Chivas

(5-7-6) earned a 2-0 victory over San Jose on Wednesday night. Ben

Zemanski scored his second career goal in the second half and Nick

LaBrocca followed with his second in as many games.

“We’ve played well enough to get results in the past, but this

is part of our learning experience because it’s not good enough to

play well. You have to play well and play effectively over 90

minutes,” coach Robin Fraser told the league’s official website. “I

think that for us, it’s a good milestone, especially coming off the

last few games where we’ve scored quite a few goals but have also

given up quite a few as well.

Fraser’s team scored twice in its season opener against Kansas

City on March 19, but also allowed two goals in the opening half.

Omar Bravo’s second score of the game then won it for Kansas City

in the 74th minute.

Kansas City went 0-6-1 following that 3-2 victory, but enters

this matchup 4-0-5 in its last nine and 2-0-2 in its first four

games on its new home field.

“It’s really fun and special what we’ve got going right now, and

it never gets old. It’s really unbelievable,” midfielder Graham

Zusi said.

Sporting KC (5-6-6) nearly missed earning another home win

Wednesday night, when three of its shots against Colorado hit the

goal posts. Zusi scored in the second half to help his team escape

with a 1-all draw.

With the tie, Kansas City matched its nine-game unbeaten streak

(6-0-3) from June 5-July 24, 2004. Another win or draw would move

Sporting KC within two games of the longest unbeaten streak in

franchise history. Then known as the Wizards, Kansas City started

10-0-2 in 2000, en route to its only MLS title.

“I’m proud of the fact that were able to get the goal,” coach

Peter Vermes said. “We had a lot of great chances … At the end of

the day, when we are at home, we want to win.”

Vermes’ club couldn’t win at home last season against Chivas,

falling 2-0 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on July 10. Justin Braun

scored both goals, each after a poor clearing attempt.

The win snapped Chivas USA’s 0-4-1 drought at Kansas City, which

claimed a 2-0 victory at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 19 as Kei

Kamara and Teal Bunbury scored second-half goals.