Chivas USA continued their unbeaten streak this preseason with their first win over MLS opposition Friday night, a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in the Las Vegas Pro Soccer Challenge. The Goats led almost the entire match, as Eric Avila notched his first goal of the preseason in the 3rd minute with a finish on a run from the right side of the box to put the Goats up early. Colorado controlled much of the rest of the first half, but sloppy finishing and a well-timed save by Dan Kennedy preserved the narrow lead through the first 45 minutes.
Chivas doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus pulled down Miller Bolaños in the Rapids' box and a penalty was awarded to the Goats. Juan Agudelo stepped up to take the penalty, and beat Ceus easily to make it 2-0. Just five minutes later, Jose Correa finished the scoring on the night with a spectacular goal, as he twisted in the air and backheeled the ball in the back of the net to make it 3-0.
It wasn't the highest scoreline Chivas have put up this season and they still didn't play a full regulation game, as there were more than three substitutions allowed, but to put up as emphatic a win against fellow MLS opposition has to be considered a good sign for this team heading into the season. To be fair, the Rapids didn't look particularly good, and I doubt many MLS clubs will play at their level in the regular season. But remember the 2012 preseason? Chivas was at a level akin to the Rapids' performance tonight pretty much the whole time, so maybe this is a step forward?
Chivas started with this lineup: Dan Kennedy; Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Carlos Borja; Eric Avila, Marvin Iraheta, Edgar Mejia, Giovani Casillas, Laurent Courtois; Miller Bolaños, Julio Morales
In the 28th minute Josue Soto replaced Courtois. At the start of the second half, Walter Vilchez came in for Borja and Agudelo subbed in for Morales.
In the 59th minute, or just before he scored his goal, Jose Correa came on for Bolaños. Daniel Antunez replaced Casillas in the 69th minute.
Tim Melia came into the game for Kennedy in the 74th minute, and Jose Manuel Rivera replaced Velazquez in the 76th minute. Bobby Burling entered the game for de Luna in the 80th minute, and Marky Delgado replaced Avila in the 85th minute in the win. Given the staggered subs, and the fact that not all players were replacing teammates in the same position, the formation and the tactics were a bit flexible, although the three-man backline remained a consistent feature.
Many thanks to the Pro Soccer Challenge for providing a stream of the game, something I know many fans would like to see more of, so that they could watch Chivas USA play in the preseason. As I keep saying, it is just preseason, but admit it, you're getting pretty antsy for the start of the season now, aren't you?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!