Photo By ISIPhotos.com
By MARK EDWARD HORNISH
CARSON, Calif. – The second Superclasico of the season ended in an uninspired 1-1 draw between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA before a crowd of 19,756 — almost none of them wearing the venerable rojiblanco shirts that once proliferated at Superclasico matches in L.A.
Errick Torres and Gyasi Zardes traded first half goals, and the remainder of the evening saw the Galaxy frustrated as multiple chances missed the mark as Chivas USA was content to bunker in and play for the draw.
“It was not a good game for us,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena after the game. “I give Chivas credit. We squandered a few chances. Obviously, conceding a goal isn’t the smartest way to play the game. There were chances to get a few more goals. At the end of the day, that’s the game. We didn’t connect.”
Zardes headed home a Marcelo Sarvas cross to draw the Galaxy even in the 35th minute.
“I saw the cross and it was a short defender who was playing me and I knew I could just get over him and get it on frame,” Zardes said. “It feels wonderful getting a goal.”
Sarvas returned to the starting eleven after after being out for almost five weeks, and looked effective, narrowly missing on what would have been the game-winning goal on a low header that Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy saved with a diving grab.
Landon Donovan created the would-be go-ahead chance by rattling the far post off a lovely curling shot from twenty five yards. The deflection fell to a diving Sarvas, but Kennedy recovered in time to keep the game level.
For the Galaxy, it was far from a crisp performance on the evening. Head coach Bruce Arena sent out another new back line, with AJ De la Garza returning to his old position at center back and Robbie Rogers getting his first start in his new role as a fullback.
The unfamiliarity with one another showed early when a two man Chivas attack broke down the befuddled defense easily. Rivero exploited it with a cross bouncing off the back of a lost Leonardo’s leg and falling neatly at the feet of an unmarked Torres, who converted a low shot past a helpless Jaime Penedo to claim the early lead.
Chivas USA managed only one more shot on target on the evening. The Galaxy, meanwhile, sent 21 balls at the Chivas goal, but only eight on target. Kennedy kept his team in the match, and in the end, the Galaxy went home with a draw that seemed like a loss.
“I think we expected to win the game,” said Donovan, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time this season. “I think we played well enough to probably win the game, but again, at the end we didn’t put enough pressure and create quite enough chances. Give them credit.”
As MLS enters a three-week World Cup break, the Galaxy will be cheated somewhat on the time off. They will travel to Arizona on June 18th for a midweek US Open Cup match against against Arizona United SC, before returning to MLS action in San Jose on Saturday June 28th. Chivas USA will host struggling Real Salt Lake when MLS actions returns.