Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In Reserve, Chivas Wins

The Track and Field Stadium at Home Depot Center was the site of the latest edition of the Super Clasico between Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy.

Okay, it was just a reserve match but it still was Chivas-Galaxy match.

Victor Estupinian had two goals while Gerson Mayen added two assists as Chivas won 3-1.

Some things of note from the match for both sides:

* Chivas looked very solid in this match, particularly in the midfield. Mariano Trujillo and Francisco Mendoza offered quite a bit for Chivas and really helped dictate the possession. With those two holding down the midfield, it allowed Mayen the freedom to create and Mayen had little trouble carving up the Galaxy's backline. He sent a perfectly-placed ball to Estupinian on Chivas' second goal, the eventual match-winner, for his best assist of the afternoon but also set up the rookie earlier in the half.

* By contrast, the Galaxy's best asset was Adam Cristman. The club's new forward played for the first time in a Galaxy uniform and showed his worth in just 45 minutes of play. He was a bit of a load for Chivas' backline to handle. Cristman accounted for the Galaxy's only goal when he lifted a ball over from the left side of the box to the right side and Hector Jimenez got to the end of it and put it away.

* The Galaxy were likely encouraged to see both Cristman and Gregg Berhalter play. Each player is capable of contributing and would add a great deal to the club's depth, which will be tested this summer. Cristman played 45 minutes, said he may have been able to play another 15 while Berhalter played 30 but may have been able to go 45.

* When reserve team coach Curt Onalfo took Cristman out in favor of 16-year-old Jack McBean at halftime, the Galaxy lost a bit of their bite up front. It's understandable of course, given that McBean is far from being even a player of Cristman's caliber.

* Chivas' third goal came from Chris Cortez, who had done little to distinguish himself. The longtime trialist was not aggressive on a few plays where he should have been and had a dodgy first touch. But Panchito Mendoza sent him a nice through ball and Cortez was able to evade Josh Saunders and tucked it away. Before the goal, he had a dreadful encounter. That he scored makes his afternoon decent but I didn't see much to make me think he can contribute.

* Estupinian, on the other hand, looked dynamic and dangerous. He finished off two chances and had a few others that he may have done better with. Jovan Kirovski was unable to contain him.

* By contrast, the Galaxy's 2011 first-rounder showed he still needs to polish a bit more. Paolo Cardozo had the responsibility of managing the Galaxy's attack and was unable to pull the strings much. He had two free kicks that whistled the goal but aside from that he did not distinguish himself.

* Here's what the men in charge had to say...

Galaxy reserve team coach Curt Onalfo

Chivas head coach Robin Fraser (Carlos Llamosa is the reserve team coach)

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