Chivas USA defeated the Ventura County Fusion 1-0 this evening up in Ventura College to advance in the U.S. Open Cup. For a match that was well-attended on both sides, a goal in the 13th minute by Cesar Romero made the difference. From there, the Fusion sought to continue their winning streak, and controlled much of the proceedings for the next hour, but the Goats finally wrestled control over the match from about the 70th minute on. Still, full credit to the Fusion, who worked extremely hard and gave a full effort on the night. Chivas just had the single goal on the night to make the difference.
What is remarkable is that Chivas were one of the few MLS clubs to win their 3rd round U.S. Open Cup match. The Chicago Fire fell to the Michigan Bucks, the New England Revolution lost to the Harrisburg City Islanders, the Columbus Crew lost to the Dayton Dutch Lions, the Houston Dynamo lost to the San Antonio Scorpions, FC Dallas lost to the Charlotte Eagles, Real Salt Lake lost to the Minnesota Stars, and the LA Galaxy lost to the Carolina Railhawks. Whew. And there are two more MLS teams who have yet to play in this round.Chivas will travel across the country to face the Railhawks in Cary, North Carolina next Tuesday for the 4th round. Although it will be a long trip, Chivas have no league match to worry about this week, so they can spend all their time preparing for the Railhawks. While I think Chivas played decently tonight and got the necessary result, they still looked pretty shaky on the night and will have to step it up if they want to beat Carolina. Ventura County are in the PDL (4th division), while the Railhawks play in the NASL (2nd division). Still, although I doubt many Chivas' fans will be in attendance for the match, it is worth remembering that they've played great on the road this season, so that could work in their favor.
Here was the Chivas starting lineup tonight: Tim Melia; Jorge Villafana, Rauwshan McKenzie, John Valencia, Scott Gordon; Ryan Smith, Peter Vagenas, Blair Gavin, Cesar Romero; Juan Pablo Angel, Juan Agudelo
At the half, Alejandro Moreno entered for Romero, and Laurent Courtois entered for Smith. In the 83rd minute, Danny Califf came on for Valencia. I guess it's a good sign that Valencia started right after his controversial exit Saturday against the Seattle Sounders, but the center back got subbed out again. Maybe this is how it's going to be with the Colombian defender.
Congrats to the Goats for taking care of business tonight, and may this be the beginning of a long 2012 U.S. Open Cup run!
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