Chivas USA played their latest MLS Reserve League match, and the first as part of the USL PRO partnership, on Monday morning at the stadium complex, losing 3-1 to the visiting Sacramento Republic FC, who played their second-ever competitive game, and earned their first competitive win as a team.
The game had far more intrigue than a regular reserve match, truth be told. Not only was former Chivas USA coach Preki leading Sacramento, but the visitors featured former CUSA players Justin Braun and Rodrigo Lopez. Based on that alone, and the fact that all three men probably wanted to get a measure of revenge on their old club, they were certainly up for this match.
Mike Fucito opened the scoring, for Sacramento, in the 12th minute, as Chivas goalkeeper Tim Melia tried to catch a cross but bobbled it, and Fucito pushed the ball home. It was a play somewhat reminiscent of the goal Robbie Keane scored on Sunday in the first team match, so that was kind of a bummer.
Chivas were able to knot the score in the 24th minute, when Leandro Barrera's cross was headed in by Luke Moore right in front of goal. The goal capped off some good build-up play between Adolfo Bautista, who started in this game, Matthew Fondy, and Barrera, and it was good to see Moore get a goal after a poor start to his tenure as a Goat.
But they couldn't keep the game level for long, as Braun scored just a minute later in what was the eventual game-winner. Fitting that the fan favorite scored against the club where he got his start.
Sacramento iced the game in the final minute when Thomas Stewart chipped Melia to give Sacramento a 3-1 lead and ensure the win.
Here was Chivas' starting XI for the game: Tim Melia; Hernandez, Michael Nwiloh, Andrew Ribeiro, Donny Toia; Marky Delgado, Kris Tyrpak, Bofo, Leandro Barrera; Matthew Fondy, Luke Moore
Hernandez is likely Chivas USA U-23 player Ricardo Hernandez.
Tyrpak appeared to injure his knee while trying to tackle a streaking Braun late in the first half, and was replaced in the 41st minute by Caleb Calvert.
To start the second half, Javier Castro entered for Moore, and Mario Ledezma came in for Barrera. Both Castro and Ledezma play for Chivas' U-23 team, and Ledezma featured in the Goats' first official reserve game of 2014 last month.
Bofo left the game for U-18 player Jonathan Caparelli in the 63rd minute.
CUSA U-23 player Abraham Placito replaced Hernandez in the 85th minute.
Overall, I thought Nwiloh looked pretty solid at CB in this game, and Delgado did well as holding midfielder, meaning the apparent plan to groom him to be the d-mid of tomorrow looks like a solid one. While people made fun of Bofo starting this game and not the first team one yesterday, he showed his default mode of not running but sending in the occasional transcendent pass for most of his shift, except for one point in the second half, where he shoved the opposing player off the ball, took over possession, passed it out wide, and made a 30-yard run to the near post. The chance never really materialized, but Bofo showed he can maybe step up his intensity level on occasion.
The result means Chivas' reserves are winless in two so far in the MLS Reserve League. Although the game doesn't count in any real capacity on the Goats' side, it does in fact count for Sacramento, who get three points in the USL PRO standings from the win. While it would have been nice for them to get their first win against a different team, congratulations to them, and the former Goats on tallying that first victory in team history.
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