Whitecaps FC-Chivas USA Preview
Chivas USA is experiencing one of its best starts in franchise history and will try to continue that against a team it's never beaten.
Chivas will seek to snap its five-game winless skid against the Vancouver Whitecaps as the clubs have the first of their three meetings this season Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
Chivas USA's seven points are the second-most it's collected in its first four games. Its 2009 squad, the last to qualify for the postseason, had 10 through its first four contests and 13 through five.
Chivas (2-1-1) picked up three points Sunday with a 4-1 rout in Chicago. Joaquin Velazquez and Juan Agudelo scored in a two-minute span in the second half, and Agudelo and Edgar Mejia each had a goal and an assist over the final 33 minutes.
"I said all preseason with this group, everyone is so new so it is important that we get off on the right foot and build team chemistry together on the field," goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told the team's website. "That's what we're doing. I'm proud of all the guys."
Chivas has never earned more than one point against Vancouver (2-1-0), going 0-2-3. The Whitecaps' 1-0 win at Home Depot on March 17, 2012, was their first MLS road victory in franchise history.
"We expect a tough game. They're a very good team and have been in good form lately," Agudelo said. "They're fast up front, and we've got to be careful with their speed."
Chivas has been outscored 6-1 over those five meetings with Vancouver, but the Whitecaps are 3-24-9 away from home since joining the league in 2011. They're also 0-9-2 in their last 11 road games after a 2-1 loss in Houston last Saturday.
Darren Mattocks gave the Whitecaps a lead in the 36th minute, but they allowed the tying and go-ahead goals in a six-minute span in the second half.
"There are a lot of positives to take from the game, but there are certain errors that we can improve upon," Mattocks said. "We have to bounce back really quickly because we have two more games on the road."
The Whitecaps are 1-0-2 all-time at Chivas but routed the California club 4-0 in the most recent meeting between the teams Oct. 3 in Vancouver. Camilo had a goal and two assists in that victory.
Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit scored the lone goal in the victory at Chivas last March but is expected to miss the rest of the season after injuring his left Achilles tendon in the opening game.