May 14, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
De Luna issues apology for incident in Sunday's match
In response to the incident that took place in the 86th minute of Chivas USA's match against the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field, Red-and-White defender Mario de Luna issued the following statement:
"I would like to apologize for my actions in Sunday's game. Though I know it is not an excuse or makes it right, what I did was in the heat of the game while we were trying to mount a comeback in the match. I do not condone violence at any level and definitely not on the field, where sportsmanship should be demonstrated above all and at all times. Once again, I am sorry about what took place, and especially to the young boy who was just trying to do his job and enjoy the game."
Chivas USA player Mario De Luna hopes to put this behind him and move forward so these kinds of actions do not take place in professional sports.
Chivas USA return to Los Angeles
After a long weekend in Portland, Chivas USA are back in Los Angeles. The Goats arrived at The Home Depot Center a little after three in the afternoon on Monday following Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.
Previous to their flight home, Chivas USA held a regenerative training session at the team hotel in Portland. While the 14 players who had minutes in Sunday's game participated in aerobic exercises, the rest of the squad worked on strength and conditioning.
With the weekend results, the Red-and-White have accumulated two consecutive losses with a 3-5-2 record and 11 points.
Now, Chivas USA will have to prepare for their next match, hosting Real Salt Lake this Sunday, May 19 at 7:30 pm PT at The Home Depot Center. This week, the Goats will only have Tuesday off, but will be having five training sessions before their return to action at The Home Depot Center.
Ponce Excited Over Debut
Two days after being announced that he was acquired via loan, Chivas USA midfielder Martin Aaron Ponce made his Major League Soccer debut in Sunday's loss at Portland. Ponce, who arrived to the RebaÃÂ±o Angelino from sister club Chivas Guadalajara, entered Sunday's match in the 59th minute as a sub and got his first taste of league action in one of the loudest and most exciting venues, JELD-WEN Field.
Ponce, 20, a product of Guadalajara's Youth Academy, was subbed into the match for Marvin Iraheta to provide the Red-and-White with an added offensive threat, and got off a clean shot on frame in the 78th minute. Midfielder Eric Avila slotted a ball to Ponce near the right sideline in the attacking third. Ponce gathered the pass and initially looked to send a cross from the right side of the box, but upon seeing a window of space in Portland's defense, continued to work the ball into the short area toward the near post where he got off his first career MLS attempt at goal.
"I'm very happy to have settled in and achieved one of my objectives," said Ponce. "It was a great atmosphere, I didn't expect it. It was an exciting soccer environment [in Portland]."
Ponce was most recently a member of Chivas Rayadas, Guadalajara's third-division team in Mexico's Liga Premier and was part of Mexico's Under-17 squad that competed in the 2009 FIFA World Cup in Nigeria. And the Guanajuato native is excited for the opportunity to bring his talents to MLS.
"The competition in this league is very good," Ponce added. "The play is physical. There are very good teams and they play at a high level, just as I was told. [Head Coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola] just told me to stay calm and enjoy the moment, more than anything."
Just the beginning for Patrick McLain
In just one week, Chivas USA's Patrick McLain went from reserve goalkeeper to starter. To say the least, it's been an interesting week for McLain.
On Sunday, May 5, the young goalkeeper was forced to make his Major League Soccer debut in a tough loss at Kansas City due to Dan Kennedy's suspension in the 54th minute. And just last Sunday, McLain made his first start with the club in a 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. Although both games were not ideal situations to go into, McLain is content with his first start with Chivas USA.
"I thought it was a good first start, overall. There are obviously some things that, long-term, I feel that I'll probably change; they're just things that come with the experience. Overall I think the game could've gone a lot better," McLain said on his debut.
Previous to Chivas USA, McLain, alumni of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, had been a part of PDL-side Orange County Blue Star and made one appearance with the Portland Timbers U-23's in 2009, so being at JELD-WEN Field was nothing new for the Eau Claire, Wisconsin native.
"It's just faster, there's more quality and you can get away with certain things in college that you can't get away here. There are certain things that you're not going to know if you can get away with them until you're put in a game situation. I think there are some minor tweaks that I'd like to do to my game," McLain added.
Meanwhile, Chivas USA goalkeeper coach Daniel Gonzalez thought that, although the score board wasn't in favor of the Goats, McLain was able to do what he needed to protect the Red-and-White's goal, and he hopes to see more of him in the future.
"You can tell that he has taken advantage of the moment. From the time he got here a year ago, there's a huge difference and with more games, he's just going to get better; he just needs more minutes," Gonzalez said.
Academy Update: Young Goats escalate in standings
It was yet another positive weekend for Chivas USA's U17/18 & U15/16 teams, as both squads earned victories over Real So Cal and continued moving up in the standings in U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
First up, Chivas USA's U17/18 team defeated Real So Cal U17/18 3-1 on Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. Two goals from forward Caleb Calvert and another by 2012 SueÃÂ±oMLS winner Armando Flores led the young Goats to victory. Calvert opened the scoreboard early in the game, and the Goats were able to close the first half with a 3-nil advantage. Real So Cal attempted to come back in the game, notching their lone goal in the 61st minute, but it was not enough to catch-up to the Red-and-White.
After Saturday's match, Calvert has converted21 goals in the USSDA 2012-2013 season, leading him to become the top goal scorer in the country in his age category. With the win, the Red-and-White U17/18 team has moved up to eight place in the playoff wildcard pool, previously standing in the tenth spot.
Kicking off at noon on Saturday, Chivas USA's U15/16 squad defeated Real So Cal's U15/16's 1-0 and extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games, naming them champions of the Southwest Division for the 2012-2013 season. An early goal by forward Alejandro Vergara in the seventh minute of the match gave the young Goats the ultimate win; Vergara has scored seven goals this season with the U15/16's and has been repeatedly called up to the U.S. U15 National Team.
Chivas USA's Youth teams will close the 2012-2013 season facing the LA Galaxy Youth squads in a the Youth SuperClÃÂ¡sico next Saturday, May 18 at 10 am at The Home Depot Center's Track and Field Stadium.
Training Report: Final hours in Portland
Chivas USA completed today their stay in the city of Portland by going through a morning regenerative session at the team hotel prior to their return to Los Angeles. The 14 players that saw action in yesterday's match against the Timbers began their session at 8 a.m. in the hotel gym while the remaining members of the Red-and-White who did not play yesterday began half an hour earlier.
The 30-minute long training was led by Strength and Conditioning Coach Osvaldo Scansetti with the sole objective of keeping muscle groups loose and eliminating soreness going into this week's work. It started with 15 minutes of aerobic work in either the elliptical or treadmill stations, followed by a series of flexibility exercises.
Conversely, the few members of the Red-and-White that took part in the earlier session focused on strength and aerobic work for one hour.
The Goats are now on their way back home, where they will start working on Sunday's match against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center.