Chivas USA Juan Pablo Angel

SuperClasico Blasts Off

1:23 PMGoalChatter

Omar Gonzalez celebrates his goal with his teammates. 
It was about time that Bruce Arena's star-studded team make up for the beginning of the season as well as their 4-0 loss to Seattle. While Chivas USA continued going off on the wrong track with a barren midfield, LA took back their shine and never disappointed. Robbie Keane, who had a rocky start to the season, had his best game yet. He was active on the pitch from the very start, bombarding Kennedy's net. The latter saved the shot from close range. Chivas USA attempted to counter on the right flank, with Juan Pablo Angel picking up the ball and eventually losing it at the top of the box. Kennedy came up big for Chivas - he was there to prevent Donovan, Keane, and company from making the final score 10-0. Kennedy's 53rd start just about says it all - he's a solid keeper, and one of the few reasons that Chivas haven't conceded as much as they would have this season. Former Red Bulls player Juan Pablo Angel, who had a very brief stint at LA, had another go at the net on the 21st minute, but the LA defense was at the right place at the right time, and saw the ball off to Saunders. A free kick by Chivas saw yet another opportunity for the Galaxy. Juninho set up a counter, but Donovan, who was about to make a great pass, was prevented from doing so by Danny Califf. Donovan was quite close to putting the ball in the near post on the 25th minute, but he couldn't reach the cross. The ensuing corner kick was unsuccesful as well. On the 27th minute, however, the Galaxy finally realized their potential. Donovan made a run and got the ball to Robbie Keane. The Irishman put the ball in with an almost first-touch finish that went flying past Kennedy, and celebrated his goal with a cartwheel. Juan Agudelo attempted a counter and got the ball to Bolanos, but Saunders did some solid goalkeeping as well. Valencia was carded for hitting Keane on the head, and Landon Donovan was there to take the resulting free kick. Omar Gonzalez tried to put it in after, but the ball went off the crossbar and landed in Kennedy's hands. Kennedy saved his team from Donovan's header on the 38th minute. The opposition's set pieces posed no danger to the Galaxy. Juan Pablo Angel tried to make something of the last minutes of the first half, but he had no one to pass the ball to; none of his Chivas teammates were willing to make the run. Donovan countered for LA and eventually got the ball to Keane, but his shot ricocheted away, ending the first half 1-0 for the Galaxy.

The second half saw a repeat of the amazing American/Irishman duo. Another recurring image was the solid Dan Kennedy. Donovan could have had a one-touch shot and finish, but took too long with the ball after getting it from Sean Franklin. Juan Pablo Angel had one of his best attempts for Chivas on the 58th minute when he picked up James Riley's cross in the box. His shot ended up being wide of the near post, and ESPN reminded us that in order for Chivas to score, they need to "continue to feed the beast". Dan Kennedy, in an impressive leap, saved Juninho's free kick delivery that was heading for the back post. Chivas lost the ball on the attack, resulting in a millionth LA counter. Landon Donovan was on the attack and got the ball to Juninho, whose one-touch finish completed the Galaxy's efforts on the 64th minute. Chivas were not putting on any pressure, relying mostly on accidental counters resulting from failed passes by the opposition. The Chivas defense prevented Donovan from realizing another attack, getting the ball out for a corner. If only that were the solution to preventing Juninho from scoring! The Brazilian landed his double in the back post after Donovan's third assist of the match on the 74th minute. It was Juninho's best game, no doubt, as both a player on the pitch and as a goalscorer. Credit should also be given to Omar Gonzalez, who marked the Chivas defense before the goal was scored. A Chivas free kick by Sarvas went off the head of none other than Gonzalez. Donovan picked up the ball from Keane quickly; he wanted to score himself, but Dan Kennedy was there to make the save. The ball grazed the Chivas keeper's fingers and went out for back-to-back corners. Landon Donovan's corner kick delivery on the 83rd minute saw Omar Gonzalez find a place in the middle to head the ball down for the fourth goal of the night, sealing the deal for the Galaxy. Chivas were more active during the last few minutes of the match, attempting to get a goal in for pride. Their last attempt came during added time - Joseph, who debuted for Chivas USA, made the run, but couldn't get ahold of the ball in the end, leaving it to Saunders.

Chivas currently average at 3.0 shots on goal per game this season and had the fewest tonight in MLS, 2.0 shots on goal, during their game against LA. 
The team has only scored more than 2 goals against a team twice this season.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is 4th among MLS keepers in the goals against average. According to ESPN, Kennedy certainly deserves a USMNT call-up.

Gonzalez has had an incredible return after his injury. He's a dynamic player and he proved it by being in the right place at the right time both on the defense and on the attack.

There was a very special player to work the set pieces while David Beckham was away in London. U.S. National Team star Landon Donovan made all the difference on the pitch against Chivas. In a post-match interview, Donovan modestly complimented his team's defense (rather than himself and the rest of the offense).

With Donovan's assists at an all-time high, his presence will be crucial to the USMNT's game against Mexico on Wednesday. Scoring during regular play will be difficult, so set pieces will definitely determine the NT's chances of scoring.

MLS Regular Season 
- 25th matchday -
Game of the Week/SuperClasico
Sunday, August 12, 2012, 11PM (EST)

Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy - 0:4 (0:1)
Arena: the Home Depot Center (Carson, CA)
Referee: Jair Maruffo
                            1:0 Robbie Keane (Asst. Landon Donovan) ('27)
                            2:0 Juninho (Asst. Landon Donovan) ('64)
                            3:0 Juninho (Asst. Landon Donovan) ('74)
                            4:0 Omar Gonzalez (Asst. Landon Donovan) ('83)


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