PORTLAND, Ore. (Saturday, July 28, 2012) – Chivas USA (7-8-5) shutout the Portland Timbers (5-12-4), 1-0, Saturday night before 20,438 fans at JELD-WEN Field. A second-half goal by center-back and team captain Danny Califf was all the offense needed to give the Red-and-White a crucial three points on the road. With the win the Goats sweep the season series of three matches against Portland and now bring their point total to 26 in the Western Conference. They also continue their solid run, as they are unbeaten in five of the last six matches, including three victories.
· The Goats broke the scoreless tie in the 68th minute when Ben Zemanski was awarded the free kick from about 40 yards away from the net near the left sideline. He served the long ball near the short area where the cutting Califf connected with the header and game-winner. The goal was Califf’s first of the season as well as Zemanski’s first assist.
· The Rojiblancos came out in the first half looking to attack, as they took five shots. Midfielder Paolo Cardozo got in position near the box and unleashed a left-footed strike that traveled wide in the 15th minute. In the 21st minute Cardozo tried to set-up Juan Pablo Angel just outside the box. Angel’s shot, however, sailed wide right of the post.
· In the 40th minute Cardozo continued to be active in the attacking third, as he set up defender James Riley near the right sideline for a cross. Riley served a dangerous cross into the box trying to find the slashing Angel, but the attempt was broken up by Portland’s defense.
· In the 42nd minute Dan Kennedy kept the shutout intact with two saves in the same sequence. Portland’s midfielder Diego Chara broke through into the box on the left wing and fired at the Red-and-White’s net, but Kennedy deflected the strike and quickly had to gather himself for Timber’s forward Kris Boyd’s follow-up shot, which he also denied to the back of the net.
· The Goats threatened early in the second half, as Cesar Romero pushed the ball on the right wing near the corner of the box and attempted his shot to the far post in the 54th minute, but it faded to the left.
· In the final minutes of the high-paced contest, Kennedy was again stout between the posts. In the 81st minute, Boyd’s strike from about 18 yards out appeared to be on target to creep under the crossbar, but Kennedy went vertical and was able to get just enough on the tip save to redirect it over the bar, and collect his seventh clean-sheet of the season.
· Chivas USA now has a week off from MLS action as it prepares for the third and final meeting in this season’s SuperClásico series against the LA Galaxy, Sunday August 12, at The Home Depot Center for an 8:00 pm PT match. The teams come into the game tied with one victory each in the series. The match will broadcast on television, live on ESPN2 in English and ESPN Deportes in Spanish. For more information about the game please visit cdchivasusa.com. Follow us on Twitter @cdchivasusa and Facebook.com/chivasusa
THE WORD FROM THE TEAMS:
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH ROBIN FRASER
Thoughts on the game: “I don’t think we played as well as we would liked to have, but every point counts and I’m really proud of the effort. I think we fought to the bitter end and as I said the soccer wasn’t great, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, it’s three points. A well earned three points by a hard working group.”
On the game plan: “I think you always have to or want to play a certain style and play in a certain manner. We had moments where we did OK, but for the most part we didn’t connect as well as we needed to, we didn’t keep the ball in certain areas of the field where we needed to, and at the end it just became a bit of a street fight for us. To the player’s credit, they really hung in there and fought.”
On goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: “Dan’s been very good all year. Obviously he made the All-Star Team because of it. He’s playing with a lot of confidence, and I’ve been saying this all year. As you’re building your team you need to make sure you stay in games, and as you’re building your style of play, you need to make sure you stay in games, and certainly Dan’s done a great job of allowing us to do that.”
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER DANNY CALIFF
On scoring the goal: “It’s fantastic. The couple times I’ve been here before have not turned out very well at all for me, so it was great to come out tonight and get on the score sheet. It’s been a while, the first game [I have scored in] since last year, so it feels great to come in, in a really difficult place to play and be able to get three points.”
On getting the win despite Portland’s statistical edge: “You see it in soccer sometimes where teams can throw everything and the kitchen sink and have lots of opportunities and lots of shots on the night and nothing will fall, and the other team can have one or two chances and put them away and walk away with the victory. That’s the cruel beast sometimes.”
On having played the Timbers twice in quick succession: “It helped to have played them recently. I think the personnel they put out tonight didn’t change much from when we played [on July 18], maybe just one or two changes. So that was good in knowing how to match up with them and things like that, but coming in here and playing them is completely different than at your home place. It’s an intimidating atmosphere, it’s a great place to play, there’s so much energy, so for us it’s an incredible result.”
TIMBERS GENERAL MANAGER/INTERIM HEAD COACH GAVIN WILKINSON
On scoring chances in the first half: “I think we had a lot of chances in the second half, as well. We could have scored three, I think, in the first half. We had a couple of good chances. I think Boyd had a few. It is what it is. It can be a cruel, cruel sport at times. I think some of the football we played was very productive, and ultimately you’ve got to finish your chances.”
On players pressing to score: “I think right from the start, we were pressing. We played the three up top, and it was an honest three up top. Part of that was to stop them from playing out, and I think that the numerous chances that we did create in the first half were from us winning the ball in their half and looking to break quickly. I think we were pressing the entire game. The urgency was definitely there, and they feel the responsibility just like I do, just like the other coaches do. Something has to change. You can’t fault the effort, you can’t fault the mentality … It’s about putting your chances away, I think.”
On team goals moving forward: “I think you’ve always got to reassess. It was something that we were using to try and inspire the group to look at, saying, ‘Here’s where we would like to be.’ Is it out of reach? No. Would we need to go on a hell of a run? Yes. But when Merritt put me into this position, he said, ‘Start to try to find out more about the group.’ I think we have made some strides in certain areas. You could see the system that we were trying to play tonight. You could see what we were trying to do, how we were trying to create things. And again, I just think we missed that final product, but we will continue to reassess and find different ways to motivate the players.”
TIMBERS GOALKEEPER TROY PERKINS
On reassessing the team’s goals: “We have thirteen, fourteen games left, and anything is possible at that point. There’s a lot of points still, and it just depends. We got to take it week by week. We keep going down this road, than yeah, but I don’t think we’re going to [make the playoffs].”
On positivity of team going forward: “I think it’s the overall attitude of the guys. The guys are up-beat, they’re giving everything they have. At this point, many teams would just hold it and say forget about it, let’s just see what we got. But the guys are fighting every day, and we’re constantly working to get better and better.
Chivas USA (7-8-5) @ Portland Timbers (5-12-4 )
July 28, 2012 – JELD-WEN Field
CHV – Danny Califf 1 (Ben Zemanski 1) 68
Chivas USA – Dan Kennedy, James Riley, Danny Califf, John Valencia, Ante Jazic, Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Paolo Cardozo (Alejandro Moreno 76), Cesar Romero (Juan Agudelo 61), Miller Bolaños, Juan Pablo Angel (Casey Townsend 79)
Subs not used: Tim Melia, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafaña, Jose Correa
Portland Timbers – Troy Perkins, Kosuke Kimura (Danny Mwanga 86), Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Steven Smith, Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Brent Richards (Eric Alexander 74), Kris Boyd, Franck Songo’o (Kalif Alhassan 74)
Subs not used: Joseph Bendik, Steve Purdy, Rodney Wallace, Mike Fucito
POR – Franck Songo’o (yellow, foul) 68
CHV – Ben Zemanski (yellow, foul) 73
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Mike Kampmeinert, Marco Arruda
4th Official: Jesus Cisneros
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees
About Chivas USA
Founded in 2004, Los Angeles-based Club Deportivo Chivas USA has achieved remarkable success in seven full seasons in Major League Soccer. From 2006-2009, the Mexican-owned club qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in four consecutive seasons, to the delight of its passionate supporters. In addition, Chivas USA’s innovative grassroots programs demonstrate its deep commitment to the Southern California community, while the club’s youth teams and Soccer Academies offer unprecedented opportunities to the region’s best young talent. For more information on Chivas USA, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.