Chivas USA captured its sixth win in the first eight games of the season, and extended its lead at the top of Major League Soccer with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Justin Braun scored the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute, taking advantage of a defensive miscommunication to poke home a Jonathan Bornstein cross.
With the win, the Red-and-White are now 6-1-1 with 19 points, clear at the top of the league by six points, ahead of second-place Seattle Sounders FC. Chivas USA plays its next game this Saturday, May 9, against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center; for more information, or to purchase tickets, visit cdchivasusa.com or call 1-877-CHIVAS-1.
Goalkeeper Zach Thornton earned his league-leading fifth shutout of the season, making six saves to preserve the clean sheet. His first and finest save of the night came less than two minutes into the game, extending to tip a low shot from Shea Salinas off the post before it was cleared by the Red-and-White defense. Thornton leads the league in saves and lowered his goals against average to .38, having given up just three goals this season.
Tonight’s match was the second consecutive game at San Jose that Chivas USA has won by a 1-0 score, with the last road win against the Earthquakes coming on October 11, 2008. In both matches, Justin Braun scored the only goal; tonight’s was his first of the 2009 season. Bornstein’s assist was also his first of the season; midfielder Gerson Mayén played the final 11 minutes of the game and still leads MLS in assists, with four.
Chivas USA midfielder Sasha Victorine entered the match as a 74th minute sub for Eduardo Lillingston, making his 2009 debut, returning from microfracture surgery on his left knee on Nov. 12, 2008 to play the final 16 minutes of the match.
The team has Sunday and Monday off before resuming training on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. at The Home Depot Center; a full schedule of the team’s activities will be released Monday.
Chivas USA Head Coach Preki, on tonight’s match: “We scrambled in the first 20 minutes then were able to settle down and control the game. We played the ball well and created many chances to score again, but we are happy with the win tonight.” (For a full quote sheet, please visit cdchivasusa.com.)
Chivas USA returns home on Saturday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. PT for a grudge match against fellow 2005 expansion club Real Salt Lake. The Red-and-White, which currently own a four-match winning streak at home to start the season, are offering a special Mothers Day promotion, as all Moms get in free to the match. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.