2010 Aug 14

The defenses rule in a scoreless draw at Chivas USA

Chivas USA  0 - 0  Seattle Sounders FC

Home Depot Center, Carson, CA


Chivas: Zach Thornton; Ante Jazic (Jonathan Bornstein 30'), Michael Umana, Dario Delgado, Mariano Trujillo (sent off 90'); Osael Romero (Giancarlo Maldonado 46'), Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Rodolfo Espinoza; Justin Braun, Alan Gordon (Jesus Padilla 79'). Substitutes not used: Kevin Guppy, Carlos Borja, Marcelo Saragosa, Ben Zemanski.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez (sent off 90'), Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Alvaro Fernandez (Miguel Montaño 67'), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Sanna Nyassi (Roger Levesque 82'); Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 86'), Blaise Nkufo. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Tyrone Marshall, Zach Scott, Mike Seamon.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Host Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders FC battled to a scoreless draw. It was the fourth MLS match between these sides and the Sounders have yet to score a goal against Chivas.

Credit Kasey Keller and Zach Thornton with shutouts, and they had to earn them by making some fine saves and surviving hard collisions.

Seattle's defense stifled Chivas in the first half, allowing just one shot, a long one that was immediately blocked.

For Seattle, Fredy Montero took several shots early. His 35-yard quick shot was deflected wide for a corner kick. He head-flicked a throw-in to the upper near corner, where Thornton made the save. He carried the ball into the penalty area for a sliding shot but could not get enough on it. At 26' he beat two defenders for one of his long shots that cleared the top near corner by a yard.

Chivas made an early substitute when Ante Jazic left in the 30th minute with an illness, replaced by Jonathan Bornstein.

The first nasty incident came at 31' when Sanna Nyassi's reckless high kick hit Justin Braun's forehead. Somehow, Nyassi was not even booked with a yellow card.

At 35' Seattle had a great chance when Blaise Nkufo got close to goal along the left end line, but his attempted short pass to Montero was deflected into the outside of the net by a defender.

Shortly after that the match was delayed a few minutes after Chivas fans papered Keller's goals with thrown streamers.

Another nasty incident occurred in the 38th when Nathan Sturgis' long Seattle free kick came down in front of goal. Chivas defender Dario Delgado got up to head it away, and behind him Montero and Thronton came flying into each other for a monumental crash. Play was stopped for about 7 minutes to tend to the two, but only 3 minutes were added. Nobody could sustain an attack after the pause.

Chivas forward Giancarlo Maldonado replaced Osael Romero at halftime and their attack was more effective in the second half. They controlled the ball well from the kickoff, but didn't manage a good shot until the 58th when Paulo Nagamura's cross went along the 6-yard line past goal to be shot on goal by Rodolfo Espinoza from a steep angle. Keller was at the near post to save the hard shot.

At 61' Seattle had their best chance when Nkufo was found open on the left to set up a cross. Nyassi got up to head the cross down but it hit the post on the first bounce with Thornton a step late.

Chivas' best chances came in a 5-minute stretch. At 64' Maldonado missed by a yard with a long shot. At 66' newly acquired Alan Gordon's shot from the arc was a hard one but right at Keller. Then Nagamura's timed run gave him a shot from 10 yards and Keller made a great parry and grab.

At 70' from a Seattle free kick, Montero's shot bent nicely to the top near corner, but Thornton was comfortably there for the save.

The next nastiness came at 76' when Gordon crashed hard into Keller's ribs when the keeper clearly had the ball.

The last good shot was Osvaldo Alonso's 25-yard rocket up the middle with eyes for the top right corner. Thornton made his best save to shut out the Sounders.

The nastiest incident of all came at 90' with Chivas defender Mariano Trujillo on the ball and Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez defending aggressively. Gonzalez was guilty of holding, but Trujillo hit Gonzalez in the head with one arm, then the other. The red card for Trujillo was expected, but Gonzalez also was red-carded, and from the replays it seemed undeserved.

          CHV    SEA
Shots:     10     10
Saves:      4      3
Corners:    4      5
Fouls:      9     11
Offsides:   6      4

89' SEA: Parke cautioned for a tactical foul on Braun
90' CHV and SEA: Trujillo and Gonzalez sent off after an on-the-ball skirmish

Referees: Alex Pruss; George Gansner, Brian Poeschel; Ricardo Salazar

Attendance: 13,839

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the match: "In the first half I thought we played well, I thought we controlled the game pretty much, maybe we were unlucky not to get one. But in the second half, they certainly came out well, they made a couple tactical changes which we had trouble adjusting to, and I thought they did an OK job. But you're going on the road and you're not going to win every game and so to come out of here – it's a tough place to play – to come out of here with a 0-0 tie and at least get a point, we're not super thrilled with it but we're not super disappointed with it either."

On the defense: "The defense I thought played well. I thought we defended together as a unit. In the first half especially I thought we did a good job of keeping Jazic ... and Trujillo out of the game. That was good from our wide players. We always talk about the back four, but that was really good from the wide midfielders to get that done. I thought Parke was very good today, and overall defensively I thought we were solid."

On what kept the team from scoring: "Obviously, there was a great save by Thornton on Alonso's shot at the end there, and just the final pass, final decision kept us off the board a little bit. Some guys didn't make as good a final decision as they have at other times. Again, like I said, playing away from home and coming into a tough place to play, playing against a team that needs three points and making sure that they don't get three points, and coming out with a point, we're still happy with that."

Jeff Parke

On the match: "It's a bit both ways. I feel like in the first half we had the better of the play, the second half could've gone both ways. I feel like the team put a good effort in. It's just a shame we didn't get three. One point is good at least. It's not exactly what we wanted but it's still a step in the right direction, and zero goals (against) is good as well."

On what to take from the match: "There's still some positives. You've just got to move on, you've got to forget about it now that the game's over. We've got the game on [Wednesday] and that's the next important thing."

On the red cards at the end of the game: "It looked like two girls smacking each other. I don't think Leo really got too bad into it. I think it was definitely a red on (Trujillo's) part, and maybe a yellow on Leo; but it was pretty funny-looking from my vantage point."

Kasey Keller

On the team's performance: "It was fine, but I thought our final third just wasn't as sharp as it's been lately; we got ourselves in a good position, and mis-touched a trap, messed up the cross. It just seemed like it was one of those days, but at the same time I was happy with the way we worked as a team and we defended, and we did some pretty good things. Definitely it's a positive step - we're now nine games unbeaten and things are okay."

On keeping a clean sheet without making too many saves: "That's always nice. I like it when I'm cleaning up a lot of things, and that seemed like more of what I was doing. I'm just happy with the way we've been playing and the way we've been stepping out to block shots, the way we've tracked runners and got out on the counterattack. It really has been an unbelievable turn around in the last eight to 10 games."

On the physicality of the match: "It was a physical match, but you expect that. It's part of the game. I took a good shot to the ribs and that doesn't happen too often and that was a little bit frustrating. Besides that little fracas at the end, I thought it was a pretty clean match. There were some hard tackles but nothing where you thought anybody was going after anybody."