Chivas USA captured a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center, with Paulo Nagamura scoring his team-leading third goal of the season in the 54th minute off a pass from Sacha Kljestan. The win extends Chivas USA’s home winning streak to five games to start the season, and at 7-1-1 (W-L-T) the team has 22 points, eight ahead of its nearest rival in the league, D.C. United, who will face Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center next Saturday night.
The Red-and-White’s record of 7-1-1 (22 points) ties the team with the 2001 Miami Fusion for the second-best record through nine games since MLS began recording ties in the 2000 season. Chivas USA is one point behind the 2000 Kansas City Wizards, who started with a record of 7-0-2 (23 points). Head Coach Preki has played a major part for all three of the top starts, coaching Chivas USA this year and playing for both the 2001 Fusion and the 2000 Wizards.
Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton made two saves to earn his league-leading sixth shutout of 2009, lowering his goals against average to just .33. After last week moving into sole possession of third place on the league’s all-time shutout list, Thornton, with 64 career shutouts, now sits just one behind San Jose’s Joe Cannon in second place.
Nagamura’s goal is his first since the first match of the season, when he scored twice in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. It came after Eduardo Lillingston’s cross was deflected to Sacha Kljestan, whose header found Nagamura open from 20 yards, and his first-time volley beat Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz at the far post. It was Kljestan’s first assist of the season.
Kljestan also received a yellow card in the match, and will miss next Saturday’s home game against D.C. United due to yellow card accumulation. Tonight the team fielded the same lineup as it did in last week’s match against San Jose, the first time Chivas USA has repeated a lineup in two consecutive games since June 5, 2008.
Chivas USA Head Coach Preki, on tonight’s match: “I think the group played very hard, they were very organized and disciplined. They work hard for each other. You know what I always say, this group knows how to work for each other and I give them full credit. We’re happy with a win.” (For a full quote sheet, please visit cdchivasusa.com.)
Chivas USA, in first place in MLS with a 7-1-1 record (22 points), hosts second-place D.C. United (3-1-5, 14 points) next Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. A special ‘Kids Pack’ is available, giving one child 16 and under a free ticket for every adult ticket purchased (8 maximum), starting at just $15. For more information on the match, or to purchase tickets, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.
PHOTO: Juan Miranda/Chivas USA
Listen to post-game audios from
Chivas USA Head Coach Preki and midfielder Paulo Nagamura during the press conference
Defender Shavar Thomas
Escuche los audios de las reacciones después del partido de:
El mediocampista Paulo Nagamura
El delantero Maykel Galindo
El defensa Mariano Trujillo