Chivas USA seek to take disciplinary action against ejected players
Five red cards in five games have been a detonating factor to Chivas USA Directors and Technical Staff’s decision of taking disciplinary action against players who receive any punishment during games. It’s these actions that are affecting not only the team’s performance as a whole, but also the results.
On July 12, Josue Soto was the first player to receive a red card during the game against Philadelphia Union and since then, in each game, with the exception of the match against Seattle Sounders FC, the Red-and-White have played with at least one man down. On Sunday against the Colorado Rapids, the Goats not only went down a man, but finished the game with nine players, and instead of the victory, with a final 1-1 draw.
VIDEO: Resumen Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids
For a team that has gone through a coaching staff and a tactical change in the middle of the season, a player’s absence due to disciplinary actions complicates the transition process even more. Moreover, the technical staff and the team’s work gets more difficult as they are trying to establish a starting lineup and some balance.
“The cards have affected us first because we have not been able to keep a constant lineup, and it’s there where we have to work a lot because what we need in the team is to maintain a continuous lineup. Unfortunately, the red cards have kept us from achieving that,” explained Chivas USA Head Coach Jose Luis Real.
As described by Coach Real, it’s good for the team to have some character and to show a little physicality, but in a positive way, “fighting for the ball in a fair way.” That’s one thing, and the other is the sequence of events that took place during Sunday’s game against Colorado Rapids, where Gabriel Farfan and Tristan Bowen were punished with red cards.
Due to the importance and the impact that these situations are having in the daily work and in the preparation of games, and knowing that this topic deserves a different attention to what has been done so far, the technical staff and the Executive Board have been meeting this week to take action in this matter.
“This is something that we are discussing with the Executive Board to try find an answer off the pitch, and on my end, to try find it in the field. With the League, we are already certain [the players] will be fined, punished, but now we are trying to define what our stance is going to be internally ahead of this week. As of right now, we have a special talk to touch base with the players, but before then, we, the coaching staff and the Executive Board, need to agree on what actions we’ll be taking,” concluded Real.
Arellano and U.S. U-15 BNT first to advance to the Semifinals
Chivas USA Academy player Hugo Arellano played the full 70 minutes of the U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team’s 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in the Copa Mexico de Naciones Quarterfinal Round. The triumph gives the U.S. National Team the pass to the tournament’s Semifinals.
The first half ended with a scoreless tie after the U.S. wasted their best opportunity in the 23rd minute. Alejandro Zendejas’ shot from outside the box crashed into the crossbar, with the ball ending in Joe Gallardo’s foot. The striker’s left-footed follow-up shot, however, ended up in the hands of the Costa-Rican goalkeeper.
Already in the second half, Costa Rica had their best opportunity with a penalty kick awarded after a foul was committed on Gerald Contreras in the 37th minute. Sergio Ramirez took the PK, but U.S. ‘keeper Kevin Silva stopped it with his right hand.
Costa Rica’s luck wouldn’t change, and in the 41st minute Anderson Naranjo was forced to leave the pitch after receiving a red card.
Gallardo, with five goals so far in the tournament, wouldn’t pass on the opportunity, and just 120 (two minutes instead?) seconds after Naranjo’s exit, the U.S. goal scorer notched the winning goal and the pass to the Semifinals through Leiner Araya’s top right corner.
Arellano and the U.S. will now face Uruguay in the Semi-finals on Friday, Aug. 16 at CECAP’s Field 1 in Mexico City. The two sides recently met during their last Group Stage game, in which the U.S. came out victorious with a 3-1 result.
The winner of this game will move on to the Final match that will be played at the Estadio Azteca on Aug. 18.
McLain continues to collect experience
In his rookie season in Major League Soccer last year, Chivas USA goalkeeper Patrick McLain was listed as third on the depth chart, which left the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo product with little chance of logging significant game minutes behind Red-and-White captain Dan Kennedy and backup Tim Melia.
McLain appeared in a few halves of the Reserve League competition, but did not make his professional debut even when Kennedy sat out the remaining two matches of the 2012 campaign. Nevertheless, the Wisconsin native continued to work and develop behind the more experienced keepers and with his position coach, which this season has proven to pay dividends.
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With Melia nursing a back injury that has kept him out of full activity since May, McLain was moved up to the No. 2 spot, and on May 5 in Kansas City, was thrust into action when Kennedy was sent off in the second half after receiving a red card. McLain not only played the remaining 36 minutes in goal for the Red-and-White, but got his first career start the following week against the Portland Timbers on the road.
Coupled with his pro debut, the 24-year-old McLain has logged nearly every minute of Chivas’ Reserve action, which has indeed served the net minder as valuable experience.
“It’s been really good,” McLain said after Monday’s Reserve League match against the Colorado Rapids. “I think my first year as number three I lacked some of the experience that came along with the minutes. Just being able to log these minutes has been great. I’m just still itching to break into the First Team and push Dan [Kennedy] to be as good as he can be when he’s out there and that’s my goal.”
With Melia still a ways off from being able to compete for the backup role once again and the season well into the final third, McLain will surely continue to take significant reps as No. 2 during practices and continue to get the nod with the Reserves. The Goats were knocked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in their second match, which prevented McLain from making his debut in the tournament. The second-year player did though get the opportunity to log all 90 minutes against brother club Chivas de Guadalajara in a friendly back in June as well as the entire second half in March in Juarez, Mexico.
“The coaches have told me to keep working and to stay positive. I’ve been getting good feedback from them so hopefully I’m doing the right things and doing what they ask of me,” concluded McLain.
Catching up with the Youth Academy
Chivas USA’s Youth Academy is only one week into preseason and things are already looking up for the future. On Tuesday night, cdchivasusa.com visited the facilities of the Bell Gardens Sports Complex to get a first-hand look at the progress the teams have been making over the past week.
In Tuesday’s training, all teams worked with Strength and Conditioning Coach Claudio Trabattoni, who held various test to the players in attendance. Up first, the players’ speed was challenged in a velocity test of 10 and 30 meters. The second test for the new players was the power jump, recording how high each one can jump.
The U17/18 team worked for a part of the training session alongside First Team Assistant Coach Othoniel Gonzalez. In Major League Soccer’s Reserve League match, two of the participating players in the duel against the Colorado Rapids were from the U17/18 Team. More Academy players are expected to participate with the First Team and play with the Reserves Team in the future.
The U23 Team, Chivas USA’s State Champions, also returned to training this week. The team counts with returning players from last season, as well as trialists since many members of the previous squad returned to their respective universities. The U23 season will kick-off in the beginning of the month of September.
Chivas USA Youth Academy teams train from Monday to Thursday at the Bell Gardens Sports Complex. For all the latest news on Chivas USA’s Youth Academy, follow us on Twitter: @ChivasUSAYouth & @cdchivasusa.