April 26, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
With eyes on a victory that would return the team back to its winning ways in the 2013 MLS season, Chivas USA closed the week's training sessions on Friday morning ahead of Saturday's match-up against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center, part of MLS' Week 9 activity.
With the main focus on perfecting all tactical plans Coach Chelis has for Saturday's game, the Red-and-White are ready to earn their fourth victory of the season against the Earthquakes, who are one point below the Goats in the Western Conference standings, and out of playoff contention.
Starting at 9:30 am, all Chivas USA players kicked-off training with a light jog around the field, and then headed to work on strength and conditioning exercises, under the supervision of Physical Trainer Osvaldo Scansetti.
After that, as a transition exercise, the players worked on precision passes at midfield looking to be ready for the final preparations ahead of the team's game against the San Jose Earthquakes set for Saturday evening.
On half the field and working with the possible starters for Saturday's game, Coach Jose Luis Sanchez SolÃÂ¡ worked with the squad on the tactical plan for set plays, defensively and offensively and where the Red-and-White players demonstrated and applied the same intensity that is expected against the Northern California team.
Coach "Chelis" Sanchez SolÃÂ¡, through constant repetitions and indications, over and over demanded of the players the same intensity that he looks to see in the team's next game in set plays, the same intensity that can make the difference for the Goats and lead to the team's fourth victory of the season, and keep the scoring history between the two clubs in favor of Chivas USA.
For a little over an hour, training continued as the team worked on corner kicks, free kicks on both sides of the field and crossing plays, only to conclude the week's training with a series of stretches at midfield ahead of their match against the Earthquakes.
Chivas USA will host the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday at 7:30 pm (Pacific Time) at The Home Depot Center as part of the 2013 MLS Week 9. In the match-up, the Red-and-White will look to move up to the second spot of the Western Conference, after earning a victory on Saturday and waiting the results between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
Soto: "We have to earn a good result at home"
After a week full of training, Chivas USA reported to training at The Home Depot Center's Field 6 on Friday morning ahead of their match-up against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
The Red-and-White midfielder Josue Soto is among the candidates to play in the first match-up against the Earthquakes this season.
"We're feeling good, confident. We need to get three points; we're coming from two losses and thinking about the two away games ahead that are very tough places to play at, so we need to get some points against San Jose," Soto told cdchivasusa.com after Friday's training.
Even though Chivas USA enters the match with two consecutive losses and San Jose comes in with a loss and a draw, for the Red-and-White midfielder Josue Soto, the team's sole focus is only one, play their best game and earn a victory.
"We're focusing on what we need to do; we're not really thinking about San Jose a lot. We've gotten results playing in this formation [from past games]. Even though we haven't won in the past two games, we still believe in the coach and how he wants us to play and that has been very important this week," Soto commented.
Despite the two consecutive losses, Chivas USA remains on top of the Earthquakes in the MLS Western Conference standings sitting below leader FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, while the Earthquakes sit two spots down in 6th. For Soto, earning three points in Saturday's game against the Northern California team is crucial.
"It's very important because they're only one point behind us so we want to create some separation from there. We're also tied in points with Portland so we want to stay in the top four spots that we are in right now so we can qualify to the playoffs. We have to get a result at home, especially with a team that's fighting for a spot in the first five," he finalized.
Kennedy knows the rival's dangerousness
The San Jose Earthquakes demonstrated a strong offensive group in last year's regular 2012 season, and so far in the current season, though the results in the standings don't show, it is enough reason to never underestimate the team, who can suddenly wake up at any given moment.
For Chivas USA's starting goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, the most important thing for Saturday's match at The Home Depot Center is to be at full concentration by kick-off, which he says will be key for the Goats in order to earn a victory against the Northern California team and return to the team's winning ways.
"It's really important that we take care of our games at home. This game is important," said Kennedy in regards to Saturday's match against the Earthquakes. "We have had a rough couple of results but I still think we have had good performances. Hopefully, we can build on those performances and keep it tight on the back."
"I hope that with the great performances, we can have a great game, and be well organized in the back; San Jose is a team that last year scored a lot of goals and that's why we have to be very attentive, take our precautions and take advantage of the opportunities that come our way," assured the Red-and-White goalkeeper.
"Their two forwards that will start, Wondolowski and Lenhart, had great success together last year. They haven't necessarily gotten going this year but we need to make sure we continue to stop them and keep our eyes on them. If we shut them down I think we will have a good chance of winning the game," added Kennedy in reference to the Earthquakes' offense.
Due to the injuries and suspensions Chivas USA has ahead of Saturday's game, the inclusion of players who have not seen a lot of activity in the season turns into an excellent opportunity to show their power to be difference makers. Like a good team captain, Dan Kennedy cheered on his teammates to take advantage of the opportunity in an official MLS match.
"Throughout the season your roster is going to get tested and this is just one of those moments. We are missing a lot of players but there is no excuse. It's a huge opportunity for some players so I hope they come in and take it and we get a result to show for that," concluded goalkeeper Dan Kennedy
Chivas USA leads the all times series against San JosÃ©
Chivas USA's 2005 inaugural season in Major League Soccer marked the beginning of a number of Western Conference rivalries for the Rojiblancos, and the in-state rivalry with the San Jose Earthquakes has been by far one of the most tightly disputed. With 16 all-time meetings between the clubs, the RebaÃÂ±o Angelino holds the edge at 6-5-5 going into Saturday's match against their Northern California opponent at The Home Depot Center for a 7:30 p.m. (PT) kickoff. With a record of 3-2-3 as the home side, the Red-and-White has outscored the 'Quakes 10-9.
The in-state rivalry was discontinued for two seasons when San Jose's franchise was relocated, but returned in 2008, in which Chivas USA took the three-game season-series with a pair of wins and a tie. The Rojiblancos also took the series the following year with a road win and draw at The HDC. The sides split the two-game series in 2010 but the Goats bounced back to sweep the following season with a victory at home and at Buck Shaw Stadium. Last season was the first time San Jose took the season series, led by a pair of wins in September on the road and at the HDC.
Since taking over as the starting goalkeeper, Red-and-White captain Dan Kennedy is tied as the series' winningest keeper with three wins to go along with two clean-sheets. Though the SoCal-NoCal rivalry has seen its share of high-scoring matches, a total of 10 clean-sheets have been recorded between the clubs, including the two recorded by San Jose last season.