Chivas USA’s vaunted offense fails to connect against Colorado defense as they drop home opener.
Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids kicked off the 2010 MLS season under the lights at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on a picturesque Friday evening. A not-quite capacity crowd of 18,653 was on hand as the two clubs looked to start out the new season with a victory.
The first half ended in a scoreless draw as both teams struggled to find opportunities in a very congested midfield.
Colorado started the contest with some good combination play between Omar Cummings and Mehdi Ballouchy. Meanwhile for Chivas, Ante Jazic pushed forward to assist in the attack early on, leaving Jonathan Bornstein to cover Omar Cummings on the left flank and Conor Casey down the middle of the pitch. At the 13’ mark, Omar Cummings raced past Bornstein down the left flank, only to have his center to Casey deflected. Colorado would rely on a mismatch that made Jonathan Bornstein responsible for both Cummings and Casey. The mismatch was created as Ante Jazic tried to help the offense find its groove by pushing up the flank while Jorge Flores struggled on the left side of the pitch.
Pablo Mastroeni and the Colorado midfield controlled possession early on as Chivas USA struggled to coordinate their attack down the left side of the pitch. As Colorado pressed the attack, though, Chivas USA retaliated with a series of counterattacks that stymied the adventurousness. At the 19 minute mark, Osael Romero got his first chance as he combined for a beautiful one-two with Michael Lahoud.
Moments later, Mariano Trujillo floated a dangerous ball into the penalty area that resulted in an offside call on Galindo, though it was a signal of what was to come.
Bad giveaways by the Chivas midfield emboldened Colorado’s attack. At the 23’ Cummings almost caught the Goats asleep as he thundered down the left flank for a shot on goal.
Both teams settled for possession for the remainder of the half as play stagnated at the center of the pitch. The Chivas USA midfield lacked cohesion while the Colorado midfield patiently waited for them to make a mistake.
Jorge Flores was replaced with Justin Braun at the start of the half to line up alongside Galindo, who struggled to get a step on Marvell Wynne. While Galindo had some looks in the first half, they were quickly vanished by the Colorado defense. Flores had a high work rate, but seemed to be pressing as he got the audition he had been waiting for.
In the 56th minute, Omar Cummings opened up the game with a sensational turnaround goal in front of Bornstein and the newly acquired Umana to make it 0-1 Colorado. Cummings did not even look at the goal. The goal came after Cummings had established himself as the most dangerous player on the pitch not only in terms of skill, but also his relentless work rate.
Following the goal, Chivas found it more difficult to find any opportunities as Colorado defended with nine leaving only Cummings and Casey up top. Chivas began to spread the Colorado defense by utilizing their wingers, but to no avail. Wynne was seemingly all over the place as he put the clamps on Galindo’s efforts all over the pitch.
Chivas USA's manager, Martin Vasquez, then tried to dial up some more offense by inserting the exciting Jesus Padilla at the 64’ mark and Chukwudi Chijindu in the 75th, but Colorado would not budge. Though Chivas USA had 12 shots on the night, only 3 hit the target. As desperation grew, Chivas USA began to fire at Pickens from the midfield with no luck until the 83’ when Kljestan sent an open header wide.
After the game Vasquez said, "They (Colorado) played for one point, and came away with three."
Chivas USA will take on the LA Galaxy in the latest edition of the LA Clásico on Thursday in an early battle for home supremacy.
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