Chivas USA played their fourth game of the 2013 preseason today, and it ended up being the best one yet for the Goats, as they beat visiting K-League side Gangwon FC 7-3 at the Home Depot Center complex. Like Chivas' other preseason matches, this one was not played by regulation rules, with there being four periods of action altogether (130 minutes total) and unlimited subs. However, Chivas USA did spring for a real life referee, as Baldomero Toledo officiated the match, so I guess we're inching closer to real game conditions.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, in fact Chivas USA was down 3-0 through 40 minutes, as Gangwon came out to a quick lead, with goals by Ianis Zicu, Jin-Ryong Kim, and Eun-Joong Kim. After that 40 minute head start, the Goats got back into the game, however. Miller Bolaños opened the scoring in the 41st minute for Chivas, off a cross from Giovani Casillas. Tristan Bowen got into the action in the 56th minute, this time on a cross from Bolaños, to make it 3-2, before Bolaños nabbed his second of the day in the 68th minute. Not to be outdone, Bowen then grabbed his second of the day in the 71st minute off a cross by James Riley to give Chivas the 4-3 lead.
From there, they continued scoring, as Jose Correa scored in the 94th minute, and again in the 110th minute, to give him two for the day and Chivas the 6-3 lead. Julio Morales finished the goals, in the 127th minute, to give Chivas USA the 7-3 win.
Obviously, given that the teams played forty extra minutes, the scoreline ended up being pretty inflated. Still, they did complete their comeback within 90 minutes. On the flipside, one has to wonder how fatigued the Gangwon players were. They have been on this side of the world for about a month, but they are still a long way from home.
The starting lineup for Chivas USA today was: Tim Melia; Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Walter Vilchez; James Riley, Marvin Iraheta, Oswaldo Minda, Giovani Casillas, Laurent Courtois; Miller Bolaños, Tristan Bowen
The names there are all familiar, although the bad news is that Minda was hurt just a few minutes into the game, and had to come out. Initial reports were that he hurt his knee, but we'll have to see what the team says about the situation. Hopefully the injury is minor! Carlos Alvarez replaced Minda in the match.
Leopoldo Morales, 22, is a new trialist, formerly with Tigres. He also spent 2011 with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, which is starting to become a pipeline for Chivas USA, it seems. He also played in Chivas USA's Academy in the past.
At the start of the final period, Dan Kennedy entered the match, for his first game action of the preseason, after sitting out the first three games with a hand injury. The good news for the number one keeper is that he didn't let in a goal.
In the 112th minute, Emilio Orozco entered the game for Correa.
So, the result means Chivas have three wins and one draw so far this preseason. That is promising, but again, preseason results don't matter a bit. Still, the goal is to make sure the team is ready to go for the season, so if these matches are adequately doing that, great!
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