Vancouver Whitecaps vs Chivas USA Game Recap

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Whitecaps were back on the pitch at BC Place Stadium on Wednesday night as they took on MLS Western Conference bottom feeders Chivas USA. On paper this game was the perfect team the Whitecaps needed to face to snap their 7-game winless streak. Chivas USA came into this game with a 7-16-7 record having only scored 21 goals this season. MLS leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski has scored twenty-two times on his own for the San Jose Earthquakes. If Wondolowski played for Chivas USA they would consider him the next Pele. The Whitecaps showed up to play tonight and took full advantage of their hapless opponents by crushing them 4-0 for their first win since August 11.

The Whitecaps capitalized on Chivas USA early with a fantastic goal from Gershon Koffie in the 11th minute. Kenny Miller showed terrific patience to cut in on the right side of the box before making a great pass back to Koffie who beat Chivas goalie Dan Kennedy low to the bottom left. Koffie scored his 3rd goal of the season thanks to the brilliant assist from Miller.

Kenny Miller looked to be set for an outstanding game with his great vision that helped contribute to the games opening goal but his durability and creativity was short-lived because Miller went off injured in the 18th minute. Miller came up lame and was favouring his right hamstring and was substituted for Dane Richards. Having just been recalled for Scotland’s two World Cup Qualifying games on October, 12 and 16 Miller might find himself sitting on the bench on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Following the game Miller spoke to the media about his injury.

“It was disappointing having to come off, I felt a little niggle in my hamstring on the run for the goal and it never eased off. I’m pretty confident that it’s not anything too serious.”

Before the half was up Dane Richards made it 2-nil Whitecaps after he burst down the wing and played a lovely giving and go with Camilo. Richards out muscled Chivas USA defender John Valencia and cut in on Kennedy to score his 3rd goal in a Whitecaps uniform this season. Richards has found himself in and out of Martin Rennie’s lineup since coming over from the New York Red Bulls, but has always played better on the turf at BC Place instead of the road.

Vancouver had all the scoring chances in the first half and Chivas USA never presented a dangerous scoring threat on Whitecaps goalie Brad Knighton, who made his 5th consecutive start for the Whitecaps. Knighton did not face a shot on target during this match as he hardly broke a sweat earning back to back clean sheets for the first time this season. Knighton shared his thoughts on the game.

“Everyone knows that they have been having a rough season and we are looking to pick up points where we can. This is a great opportunity for us and we just wanted to make the most out of the game and put ourselves in a good position.”

Knighton and his defenders really wanted to earn another clean sheet and he discussed that.

“They [Chivas USA] possess the ball very well, going side to side and there were a few crosses here and there that I had to go up for. But I wasn’t really tested that often, it was just a matter of communicating with the back four and we really wanted the clean sheet.”

Chivas coach Robin Fraser made an interesting tactical decision by starting Winger/Midfielder Shalrie Joseph at centre-back for Danny Califf who was a late omission from the Chivas roster due to illness. Joseph, the long time MLS veteran didn’t make a great impression but neither did any of the defenders for Chivas. The red and white striped team on the other side of the pitch looked more like pylons than actual professional soccer players. Joseph was available to the media following the game.

“The first 15 minutes of the first half I thought we did good, we moved the ball and our passes created a couple of chances here and there and we kept possession well. There was just one kind of attack where they got numbers forward and they played a great ball and Koffie had a great finish. I don’t think he will ever make that again but credit to him it was a great finish.”

The Whitecaps opened the second half right where they left off in the first. Chivas USA was nowhere to be found and had no business being in the game. It wouldn’t take long for Vancouver to knock the “goats” off the proverbial cliff. Camilo scored in the 62nd minute when he beat out Canadian International defender Ante Jazic to a ball in front of the visitors net. Camilo scored his 5th of the season and later setup Barry Robson for his first goal in a decade. Camilo used his speed to get past makeshift defender Shalrie Joseph and made a lovely pass to Robson who had all sorts of time and space. Robson controlled the ball and switched feet as he hammered the ball past a helpless Kennedy. The Chivas defenders were out to lunch the entire game and it’s no wonder they haven’t won a match in 11 outings.

Chivas USA looked absolutely shambolic at both ends of the pitch and with out a doubt they should be relegated from MLS. Chivas failed in every aspect of the beautiful game and did not present an ounce of a challenge to the Whitecaps. Vancouver on the other hand finally took full advantage of their opportunities against a weaker team and managed to score at the flick of a switch. The Whitecaps needed a much-needed confidence boost and Chivas was just the team to help them out. It’s a pity FC Dallas will get to face Chivas USA twice this month as they attempt to gain ground on the Whitecaps who now lead them by a 5-point gap for that 5th and final coveted MLS Western Conference playoff spot.

Notes: The Whitecaps return to action on Sunday, October 21, at 4:00pm P.T. when the Portland Timbers visit BC Place Stadium. Chivas USA will be in action on Sunday, October 7, at 4:00pm P.T. when they host FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The announced attendance was 17,777 on a clear and crisp fall evening.

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