The Goat Parade's 2012 Thanksgiving Memories

Correa: Gave us reason to smile in 2012. - Victor Decolongon

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday, we've decided to pick some select favorite moments from 2012. Yes, there were some very bad moments we'd love to forget from this year of Chivas USA, but there were some good moments as well. Part of being a fan is cherishing the good moments, as well as weathering the bad moments. So cuddle up with a good drink (or if you are reading this after dinner, spread out on the couch and try to remain as comfortable as possible while your body digests the good food) and see if your memories match our own!

1. Winning the first SuperClasico

It was a tight match, but Chivas outplayed the LA Galaxy and a penalty kick goal from Jose Correa made the difference, as the Goats snapped a five-year winless drought in the derby. And in hindsight, with the Goats finishing in last place in the Western Conference and the Galaxy in the MLS Cup final again, that result looks even more impressive.

Chivas USA vs LA Galaxy 1-0 [19/05/12] MLS 2012 (via FUTBISION2)

Matt's take: Chivas USA snapped a long winless streak against the Landlords at the HDC. Speaking of streaks, the lone goal--a Jose Correa penalty kick--was the second penalty kick that month after a 635-day drought between penalty kick attempts.

For Rachna, the game represented hope for the club: Winning the first SuperClasico of the season [was a favorite memory in 2012] - back when the team had promise to do well this season. The team played really well in that game.

2. U.S. Open Cup Run

Matt: Chivas was one of only a handful of MLS teams to take the Lamar Hunt 2012 US Open Cup seriously. Half of the MLS teams--including MLS Cup finalists Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy--crashed and burned in the first round.

Alicia: The Open Cup run has to be one of the highpoints of the 2012 season. Yes, Chivas failed in the semifinal round, but they were playing a team with as much experience in the tournament as there had ever been in the MLS era in the Seattle Sounders. That shouldn't take away from the fact that Chivas were one of the final four teams standing in the tournament, and the run gave the team and fans real excitement during what was ultimately a tough season.

Although the Goats weathered the gutsy performance from the Ventura County Fusion, had a timely penalty call in their favor to beat the Carolina RailHawks, and ultimately lost to the Sounders, to me the quarterfinal match against the Charlotte Eagles was one of the best of the year. Chivas took the lead in the second half, but conceded just before the end of regular time. It looked like the game was headed for added extra time, but Jose Correa's header for his second goal of the game gave Chivas the dramatic victory. After the game, players and coaches were thrilled with the result, and considering it was the only home game of the tournament for Chivas in 2012, it was a good result for the team.

Chivas USA 2-1 Charlotte Eagles @cdchivasusa.com (via ecauich)

3. The Emergence of Casey Townsend

This one may be a surprise, but there are two reasons for this selection. First, Rachna correctly predicted the selection in the SB Nation MLS Mock Draft, which was her second accurate prediction in as many seasons (no pressure for 2013!).

More than that, Townsend only had one goal on the year, but was it an important one. He poached the goal on a uncharacteristic flub from Nick Rimando when Chivas were playing Real Salt Lake, and gave the Goats a 1-0 win, their first of the early season. In the end, the player who's been dubbed the "white Chicharito" by some didn't get the number of minutes many had hoped in his rookie season, but he couldn't have picked a better time to open his MLS account.

Soccer Upset - Chivas put the Dagger in RSL (via mls)

4. Sueño's goal breaks the streak

In the waning months of the season, there weren't many good memories related to Chivas USA. But one of the late highlights was Jorge Villafana's only goal of the season.

Matt has this interesting tidbit: Jorge Villafaña's 69th minute goal on October 7th ended the 600-minute scoreless streak for Chivas. The streak--which spanned from Nick LaBrocca's 8th minute goal at Seattle on September 8th -- was the worst-ever mark for a non-expansion team.

And his celebration demonstrated to me his place on the 2012 squad as the heart and soul of Chivas USA.

Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas (1-1) 10-7-12 @cdchivasusa.com (via ecauich)

5. Dan Kennedy: MLS All-Star

Dan Kennedy emerged from 2011 as an elite goaltender and his start to 2012 proved it wasn't a fluke. Kennedy, a coach's selection, allowed one goal but also made two saves. Perhaps most impressively, Kennedy held his own in the second half as the All-Stars defeated European champion Chelsea.

HIGHLIGHTS: MLS All-Stars vs Chelsea FC (via mls)


Honorary Mentions:

Rachna: Sitting with the Black Army for the first time - they are great hosts!! And even though I wasn't there, seeing Juan Agudelo sitting with the Black Army at one of the SuperClasico's this summer. It was a great thing for him to do, and really shows what a great guy he is.

Matt: The Trade(s) - As exciting as the win over LA was, it was extra exciting because it featured the club debuts of Danny Califf and Juan Agudelo. Neither player was acquired cheaply--Michael Lahoud and Heath Pearce and a whole lot of that allocation cash that Chivas had. But both players have been quality additions. Califf brought leadership, toughness and immediately helped stopped the weak goals Chivas was allowing in the last ten minutes of play while Agudelo is an exciting young USMNT capped player.

What are your favorite memories? Do you have one that we missed? Leave a comment below!
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