Superliga Matchday Two: Chivas USA-Pachuca
Fewer references to Sven from this Telefutura crew. Maybe that’s because Pachuca is a largely South American team and Sven is spending his time on the east coast it seems in this tournament. Sven did look comfy in the press box in Foxborough. I assume he’ll be back there for another Superliga match.
Pachuca begins to maintain possession well early the half creating a free kick opporunity just outside the box quickly and a few scoring chances. Lance Parker looks settled and makes two spectacular saves: one on Gabriel Cabballero, the symbol of the aging Pachuca from my mouth and another in the dying minutes. But Chivas cannot sustain their possession or create really good chances save an outstanding header from Ante Razov which Calero dealt with. Chivas looked gassed as the game continued and the fresh legs that Preki inserted which were mostly young inexperienced players (with the notable exception of Jim Curtin) looked lively and attacking minded but not seasoned or patient enough to break a team as experienced as Pachuca. A game effort from Chivas but just not enough class.
My CSRN collegue Peter Brown reports from the Home Depot Center that Lance Parker will start the match in goal ahead of Dan Kennedy, the Chilean league veteran who has played once for Chivas and looked out of place in a loss to RSL. Parker has never played in a professional match. Brad Guzan was sold to Aston Villa last week. This is a huge risk for Preki to take in this match but Peter has previously reported that Preki was not impressed by Kennedy in training or in that match versus RSL.
Preki has started Jonathan Bornstein in the midfield on the left side and right away he creates a great chance for Sacha Kljestan. Preki’s side has come out with lots of fight and attacking intent tonight. A controversial hand ball call leads to a penalty kick where Claudio Suarez sends Miguel Calero the wrong way but hits the post. Minutes later Chivas’ build up and control of the match is solidified with a wonderful goal from Ante Razov, one of the true greats of American club football. Pachuca comes back thanks to a strange foul call near the touch line which infuriated Preki. The ensuing free kick taken by Gerardo Rodriguez finds Bruno Marioni who even at 33 looks like he’s not as “old and tired” as claimed on the Superliga Preview Special. Chivas controls the match from that point forward and scores a second goal thanks to Rodriguez again finding and even “older and tired” Caballero, whom I previously named as the symbol of the aging Pachuca in the MLS Talk preview show #1 for this tournament. Note to myself: never disrespect the king.
In the second half Chivas must regain the initiative they showed in the first fifteen minutes of the match. The LA side was clever, and never at a loss for ideas early. Despite his inexperience and allowing two goals, Lance Parker has looked comfortable in goal though a half step slow to react, reaffirming thus far Preki’s faith in him when compared to what Dan Kennedy showed in his prior outing versus RSL. Maybe in the second half we’ll see more possession from Chivas and an atempt to force Pachuca’s agining and tired legs to be run off?