CARSON, CA - MARCH 26: Amarikwa: torched Chivas again today (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Chivas USA played their third preseason match this afternoon, falling 1-0 to the visiting Colorado Rapids. Chivas were coming off a resounding 5-0 win to local side FC Hasental last week, but the quality of the opposition was considerably stronger today. A late goal from Rapids forward Quincy Amarikwa made the difference in the match. If you recall Chivas home match against Colorado last season, Amarikwa had the lone goal in that game as well. He must like the Home Depot Center complex.
Both clubs effectively used a full strength-caliber lineup to start the match. One player who was missing today was Nick LaBrocca, who began his career with the Rapids and who was reported to be suffering from flu-like symptoms, according to the Rapids' official twitter account.
For Chivas, here's who started the match: Dan Kennedy; James Riley, John Valencia, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic; Oswaldo Minda, Peter Vagenas, Michael Lahoud, Ryan Smith; Alejandro Moreno, Juan Pablo AngelGuess what? It seems Vagenas may be more central to Chivas' plans during the season than I first anticipated, as he has started with the first unit in all three preseason matches so far. It seems he will play a similar role, both on the field and in leadership, to Simon Elliott last season. Oh, and Valencia has been slotted into the first unit straightaway as well, so it looks like the team will be expecting major things from him in the center of defense.
Here's who played in the second half for Chivas: Brian Rowe; RJ Allen, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafana, Kennedy Chongo, Marky Delgado, Laurent Courtois, Chris Cortez, Cesar Romero, Daniel Steres, Kevin Venegas, Mario Ledezma
That makes 12 players for the second half, but I don't know who was subbed in out of the bunch. All of the supplemental draftees except Fabian Kling featured today, and it appears the club is taking a long look at all of them. Meanwhile, Casey Townsend has yet to feature in a preseason match. He had previously been dealing with a hamstring injury, but no word on the status of that injury. I would assume it's still hobbling him, otherwise he probably would have gotten some game action by now.
Other guys who have seen little to no time so far this preseason include LaBrocca, Blair Gavin, who is evidently catching up after missing the first two weeks of camp, Ben Zemanski (who previously suffered a concussion - no word on that injury), David Junior Lopes (just started training this week after visa issues delayed him), and Miller Bolanos (also began training this week). There's still a good month before the season starts, and that's the goal everybody is looking towards.
That's also why the loss today shouldn't get the club down. If they can learn from their mistakes today, and get more evidently valuable scouting in on the team and Amarikwa in particular, then it they can build to the point when the games truly count.
Their next match is scheduled for Saturday at 12 pm back at Oxnard College, where they will play the Chicago Fire, who should provide them another good test in tuning up this preseason.
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