Chivas USA played the Orange County Blues in MLS Reserve League/USL PRO action on Saturday at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, with the Blues winning 2-1 via goals from former Chivas USA striker Chris Cortez and Allan Russell. Ryan Finley continued his reserves goal scoring exploits by narrowing the lead in the second half for the Goats, but Chivas could not find a way to a result.
The result, while of no real consequence to CUSA, drops them to 1-4-1 in reserve league play, with a record of 1-2-0 against USL PRO teams. Of course, the win gives the Blues three points in their league standings, so it was very useful indeed for them. It also offers a level of revenge for former Chivas players Cortez and Patrick McLain, who made way in the first half in goal for the Blues for retiring GK Mohammed Mohammedi.
Here was Chivas' starting XI for the match:
Tim Melia; Michael Nwiloh, Tony Lochhead, Akira Kaji, Eriq Zavaleta; Marky Delgado, Mauro Rosales, Carlos Alvarez, Matt Dunn; Matthew Fondy, Ryan Finley
Kaji, of course, is the signing announced by the club on Tuesday. He will be eligible to play competitively for Chivas once the transfer window opens next month, with his first game eligibility falling on July 12 against Vancouver.
Chivas USA Academy U-16 player Hugo Arellano entered the game for Kaji in the 62nd minute, while Caleb Calvert replaced Rosales at the same point in the game. Kristopher Tyrpak replaced Fondy in the 52nd minute.
The Goats have one more MLS Reserve League game coming up soon, July 6 against the Montreal Impact, before taking three full months off in official reserve league action. While they could schedule scrimmages to keep the squad players fresh in the interim, the giant gaps in the reserve schedule are truly bizarre.
Of course, this is expected to be the final year of the current MLS reserves format, with the club either entering partnership(s) with USL PRO sides to send players on loan, or creating their own USL PRO reserve team. Given the unsettled nature of the club at the moment, at least publicly, who knows what the plan will be for 2015. At any rate, CUSA finally got in on the action against USL PRO teams this year, the very last team in the league to do so.
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