Editor's Note: This article marks the first for a new contributor at The Goat Parade, Fred Karl. Please welcome him aboard, and enjoy his first Chivas USA match report!
Chivas USA and FC Dallas had plenty of chances in their Independence Day match. However, "chances" do not always result in goals as the two teams tied 0-0 after ninety minutes Thursday evening.
Take the point
Chivas USA had several opportunities of their own throughout the hard-fought match. The Goats made it two games in a row of receiving a point, after failing to do so in seven straight league matches. In this match, they were able to apply ample pressure, albeit from outside the goal box, against the heavily-favored home squad. Chivas USA attempted 18 shots on the night, which was 50 percent more than their counterpart. Perhaps none were more dangerous than a couple of 20-plus yard shots from midfielders Eric Avila and Gabriel Farfan. Avila was making his first appearance following a trial with Chivas USA's parent club, Chivas Guadalajara, and hardly missed a beat. The winger went the whole 90 minutes and was successful in applying pressure from the outside as well as consistently finding open teammates.
Possession leads to opportunities
The Rojiblancos were able to raise their possession percentage to 47 percent for this match, which is about 10 percentage points higher than last week's tie with the New England Revolution. This massive increase in possession, even while on the road, resulted in an equally impressive output on chances created. These opportunities allowed the Goats to complete their passes at an 80% effective rate and reduced Dallas' shots on target to only one. These statistics are one of the keys in the recent upswing for Chivas taking a point away from each of their last two games.
A good offense is the best defense
Chivas fans were able to see the "tables turned" where their players forced Dallas' goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez, into making seven saves. Normally, it's the Goats' captain and 'keeper, Dan Kennedy, who is frequently called upon to be their man of the match. Today, Kennedy was hardly tested, as his defense stood firm, and registered only one save throughout the match. Watching his team attack Fernandez must have been a welcome change that Kennedy should hope to see for the coming weeks. And it shows that the team can earn a clean sheet, something they failed to do all season until tonight.
On to Sunday
Two successive matches with points earned have the Goats optimistic heading to Montreal to take on the Impact this Sunday. Although the next match will be on three days rest, there is no reason to doubt that Chivas can continue their "non-losing ways." Former United States Men's National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra should soon be ready to begin his MLS return in bolstering Chivas' defense even more. Rumors of additional player transactions are swirling and it appears that things may finally be moving in the right direction. Onward we go...
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