Although the first team has faltered recently, the Chivas USA reserves have a winning streak going, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps reserves 1-0 Tuesday at the Home Depot Center facility. Another winning goal from Victor Estupinan, his fourth in the reserves this season, made the difference in the game. Chris Cortez sent a cross Estupinan's way in the 40th minute, and the Ecuadorean finished the chance.
As the match recap on the club's website explains, an interesting sight came during the match, as Assistant Coach Greg Vanney played a full 90 minutes in defense. I've heard of coaching staff playing in reserve matches on other teams before, and I don't know what the motivation for Vanney was in playing. It seems kinda odd to be honest. Why not give an academy player a shot if no first-teamers or reserves are available? In the grand scheme of things, I guess it isn't a big deal really.
Continued after the jumpSpeaking of lineups, in addition to Vanney the Goats went with a blended lineup like they have the past few reserve matches. First teamers Jorge Flores, Simon Elliott, and Blair Gavin played, while reserves Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Estupinan, and Cortez also featured. But more academy players featured in this match, with Esteban Rodriguez, Marco Delgado and Ben Spencer playing. Two local youth players, Pablo Cruz and Stephen Copley, also played, while NIcolas Dieuze, a French midfielder who played previously for Grenoble, the same defunct club that Laurent Courtois played for before joining Chivas this summer, looks to be on trial with Chivas. Perhaps the French connection will prove useful again next season for Chivas?
For the Whitecaps. a couple of key first team players, Davide Chiumiento and Eric Hassli, both featured, while first overall 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick Omar Salgado also played, although he got a red card at the end of the game. There were some unfamiliar names on Vancouver's side as well, although several players who have seen first-team action this season, including Bilal Duckett, Jay Nolly, Greg Janicki, Michael Nanchoff, and Peter Vagenas, played in this match.
With one reserve league match to go, Chivas' record is 3-3-3 on the year, but they seem to be on an upward trajectory the past couple of matches. Hopefully they can end the reserve league season on a positive note Sunday against Seattle.
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