Chivas USA won 1-0 against Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field before 18,476 fans. The Red-and-White has won all three of its road games during the 2012 MLS season and has a record of 3-0 on the road. Ecuadorian Oswaldo Minda gave the Goats the lead with a header in the 31st minute.
· With the victory, Chivas USA’s season record improves to (3-3-0) and moves them to fourth place in the Western Conference with 9 points -pending the Dallas vs. Montreal Impact match.
· Chivas USA took the lead in the first half when Ecuadorian Miller Bolaños, with his first assist of the season, cashed a corner kick and midfielder Minda, with a header, beat Toronto’s goalkeeper Milos Kocic and scored his first MLS goal and first of the season in the 31st minute.
· The Goats dominated the first half of the match, kept possession and control of the ball (56% vs. 44%) and generated 7 attempts on goal versus 3 from Toronto FC.
· Ryan Smith and Bolaños, playing as forwards, constantly switched positions throughout the match, which surprised their opponents and generated several goal opportunities for the Red-and-White.
· Toronto FC did not give up and after the 80th minute generated several attacks and goal opportunities but Chivas USA’s defensive line was well-ordered and cleared the ball as it came inside their box.
· An inspired Dan Kennedy saved the Goats of the equalizer in several opportunities. At the 16th minute, on an individual play, Toronto’s midfielder Luis Silva faced Kennedy one-on-one, but Goat’s GK deflected the shot and kept his goal safe. In the 70th minute, Kennedy again, one-on-one, on his knees deflected Danny Koevermans’ backheeled shot, and in the 89th minute, Kennedy avoided the equalizer by deflecting Koevermans’ point-blank shot.
· Heath Pearce, a leader in the defensive line for Chivas USA kept the advantage of his team in the 80th minute when midfielder Ryan Johnson struck a left-footed shot, cleared off the line by the Red-and-White defender denying the tie.
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH – ROBIN FRASER
Thoughts on today’s win… “I thought in the first half we were able to, at moments, put together some good stretches and put ourselves in dangerous positions and we were fortunate to score the goal. Going with the wind, we were kind of hoping to have more of a lead going into the second half knowing what it was probably going to be like. But, in the second half I thought TFC really put us under a lot of pressure and really credit to our guys, we bent but we didn’t break.”
Did you try to employ a different strategy in the second half knowing that TFC would be going with the wind and come out aggressive looking for the tying goal? – “No not really. At the end of the day strategy really isn’t all that different, you’re still trying to control the game, you’re still trying to have most of the ball and control the tempo. As I said, TFC did a good job of winning balls back and putting us under pressure.”
What does a win like this on the road mean for your team? – “I think it’s huge. It’s a continuation of a season that started in difficult conditions for us, we lost a couple of games we felt maybe we shouldn’t have lost, and credit to the group they’ve really grinded out the wins. I think it’s good for our confidence.”
CHIVAS USA MIDFIELDER – NICK LABROCCA
Thoughts on today’s game… “We wanted to come out and be aggressive and kind of control the game. We obviously wanted to attack and make sure that we got that first goal. Other than that, we wanted to be better on the ball and I thought we did that.”
Is there anything you guys did differently in the second half to defend an attacking TFC side? “Their quality was a little better and I think the wind definitely played a huge deal in it, not only for us in the first half but for them in the second half, it made getting out of the back much more difficult. They definitely played it right and made things very interesting and we had a couple big stops on the line.”
Thoughts on coming back to play in Toronto… “Yeah, it’s great to be back. This is a great organization and I enjoyed all of my time here. Everyone has been nothing but great to me when I was here and even after I’ve left.”
Thoughts on the early struggles of the TFC… “I think they are probably just a little unlucky. You can see that there is quality out there, they have some great combinations and you saw how they were in the Champions League. I thought they were by far the better team going into Mexico so that is very impressive.”
CHIVAS USA GOALKEEPER – DAN KENNEDY
Thoughts on today’s win… “Yeah, it was nice to get the win. You saw the windy conditions play an advantage to whichever team has it at their back and it was important for us to get that first half goal and we did. We came in at half time and we knew that we were going to go out and have a fight on our hands and we needed to be good winning the right positions against all those long balls and crosses. We weathered the storm in a way and now we have three points.”
You made a lot of saves in the second half and were able to hold them off… “One of the best aspects of their team is their attacking options and coming in here we knew that. We didn’t want to give up anything but throughout 90 minutes of a game you are going to give up some stuff. Fortunately the saves went my way tonight.”