Fire-Chivas USA Preview
After an outstanding start defensively this season, Chivas USA
nearly matched its season total for goals allowed in its last game.
That may not bode well as it faces a Chicago Fire team that has had
little trouble scoring in the teams’ recent matchups.
Chivas looks to bounce back from the rough defensive effort and
avoid a third straight shutout loss when it hosts the Fire on
Chivas (3-5-0) allowed five goals through its first seven games
and never more than one in a match going into Saturday’s meeting
with Colorado. That stingy play was suddenly absent, however, as
the Rapids won 4-0 after scoring three times in the final eight
“The score is maybe not indicative of the entire game,” Chivas
coach Robin Fraser said. “But at the end of the day the score is
what is going to be remembered.”
The last time the club had given up that many goals in a game
was Oct. 23, 2010 – a 4-1 loss to Chicago. Chivas allowed 15 shots
Saturday, eight of which were on goal.
Despite the lopsided final result, Chivas controlled play in a
scoreless first half and applied plenty of offensive pressure,
earning two free kicks, but couldn’t snap a goal drought that has
reached 246 minutes.
The club was shut out for the fifth time this season and has
scored a league-low four goals. Chivas has lost two in a row after
winning three of four.
“We had moments that were good in the first half,” Fraser said.
“We have to execute and finish our opportunities when we get
Fraser’s team may get some help in that cause. Veteran attacker
Alejandro Moreno and midfielder Pete Vagenas have been removed from
the injury list and are expected to be available Friday. Moreno has
one of Chivas’ four goals in 2012.
The Fire have been very successful at finishing opportunities
against Chivas, starting with that 2010 victory. Chicago has scored
eight goals in going 2-0-1 in the last three meetings, taking the
most recent one 3-2 on Sept. 17 on Dominic Oduro’s winning goal in
the 85th minute.
Oduro leads Chicago (2-2-2) with three goals, but he didn’t
record one Saturday as the inconsistent Fire fell 2-1 to Seattle.
Jalil Anibaba’s point-blank shot was stopped in the sixth minute of
extra time, and Marco Pappa had a goal waved off in the 63rd minute
on an offsides call.
Chicago’s frustration appeared to boil over during a shoving
match after the final whistle, and it will cost the Fire on Friday.
Anibaba and coach Frank Klopas received one-game suspensions for
their roles in the scuffle, with Klopas getting banned for his
exchange with referee Michael Kennedy.
“That’s the decision, and there’s not much I can do about it
now,” Anibaba told MLS’ official website.
Assistants Leo Percovich and Mike Matkovich will take over for
Klopas on Friday, while rookie center back Austin Berry will start
in Anibaba’s place.
The Fire have gone 2-0-1 in the last three road games in this