Chivas USA Defeats UC Irvine 4-1 in First Preseason Scrimmage

Bowen: Scored a goal for the Goats today. - Thearon W. Henderson

The Goats started 2013 with a win, and played a lot of players.

With preseason comes preseason scrimmages and matches, and Chivas USA had their first this morning. Hosting UC Irvine, the Goats won 4-1 to kick off the games for 2013. Jose Correa started the scoring in the 11th minute, before UCI evened the score in the 30th minute by Cameron Iwasa. From there, it was all Chivas, as Tristan Bowen scored in the 64th minute, followed by trialist Rodrigo Lopez just two minutes later. Ben Zemanski finished up the scoring in the 72nd minute.

Among the interesting factors in this scrimmage was that Chivas USA coach Chelís served as the referee. Whether he stepped in at the last minute or this was preplanned is unclear, but if Greg Vanney and Robin Fraser could play alongside the actual players, I suppose reffing the game isn't that much different. And lest you think he was impartial, according to Eduard Cauich on twitter, he called four goals off in the match, by Correa, Zemanski, Laurent Courtois, and Bowen, and apparently received abuse from the Chivas fans in attendance.

Here was the starting lineup* in the match: Patrick McLain; Velasquez, Bobby Burling, Vilchez, James Riley; Jorge Villafana, Edgar Mejia, Carlos Alvarez, Rivera; Miller Bolanos, Jose Correa

For the names we do not know, here's what I've found:

Vilchez: Probably Walter Vilchez, 30, a Peruvian international who played for Chelís at Puebla between 2007-09. He returned to Peru after that, and last played for Sporting Cristal. A quick check of the roster on that club's official website indicates that Vilchez is no longer with the team, making a trial with Chivas USA entirely plausible. He is a defender, and evidently played center back in the scrimmage today.

Rivera: Jose Manuel Rivera, 26, a forward from Mexico with some scattered European experience. Originally in the Atlas youth set-up, he played in Slovakia, Hungary, and Finland, with short stops with Jaguares and Toluca mixed in. It looks like he is a player who has never found a settled situation in his professional career.

Velasquez: I couldn't figure out who he was.

Substitutes during the first half included trialist Steve Purdy and Oviedo. I had a hard time pinning down the latter.

Among the second half substitutes were Giovani Casillas, Tristan Bowen, Marky Delgado, Mario de Luna, Laurent Courtois, and Tim Melia. Another one was likely Carlos Borja, who is a familiar name to Chivas USA fans, as he last played for the Goats in 2010. A fellow former Goat, Rodrigo Lopez, later entered the match, and of course scored.

Overall, a good result for the team that is just getting underway in their latest rebuilding project. As it is the preseason, and as their opponent was a college side, I wouldn't get carried away with drawing conclusions, but hopefully this was a step forward in the team's development for 2013.

* Update: The club sent out a release with the entire list of players who featured today. Here's what I missed earlier:

Velazquez: Joaquin Velazquez, 37, a defender who was reported to be joining the coaching staff. If he was pulling a Vanney, then ok, it's not like we haven't seen that before with this team.

Oviedo: Daniel Oviedo. I still can't find any information about him.

Daniel Antunez: Entered the game at the start of the second half. A midfielder, he is 26, evidently Mexican-American, growing up in California and Texas. He was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in 2008, but never signed a contract, instead playing in the lower leagues, in Finland for a couple of teams, with a stint with Estudiantes Tecos (which I believe overlapped with Chelís' time with that club) in between.

Josue Soto: Entered the game in the 68th minute, he was a homegrown signing with the Houston Dynamo in 2011, but he never made an appearance for the club. He did, however, play regularly for the San Antonio Scorpions in the NASL last year on loan. A midfielder, Soto is 24, and also evidently Mexican-American.

Walter Vilchez: See above. I had that one right earlier.

Marvin Iraheta: Hey, last year's young unknown is back! He entered at the start of the second half. Hopefully he can stay healthy this preseason, so we can see what he can do.

Emilio Orozco: Entered in the 68th minute. He is 20, a California native who was a member of UANL Tigres' U20 squad, and last year played for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on loan.

Rivera: Listed as "Manuel Rivera," but I believe he is indeed Jose Manuel Rivera, described above.

Borja: It was Carlos Borja, described above.

Eric Avila: Entered at the start of the second half. Assisted on Bowen's goal.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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