Dearly beloved here on the MLS Multiplex, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of the SuperClasico, which passed away at 9:30 p.m. PT/12:30 a.m. ET on Aug. 31, 2014 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. After 41 minutes of Wilmer Cabrera’s Chivas USA standing toe to toe with Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, the designated visitors turned it up a notch and scored three unanswered goals to give Los Angeles a 3-0 victory, kicking the Goats to the curb and the SuperClasico to the pages of Major League Soccer history.
These are two clubs going in opposite directions, Chivas USA have dropped six straight matches, while the Galaxy have won four in a row and head into September with full steam ahead. Let us listen to Bruce Arena on his thoughts following the match.
Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the last SuperClasico in history between Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
1. Gyasi Zardes with the finish
In the 41st minute, Landon Donovan, who was honored before the game with a surfboard and a skateboard, layed a through ball off for Gyasi Zardes for his 11th goal of the season. He’s had a habit of hitting his form against a team of Chivas’s lowly caliber. Take a look.
2. Robbie Keane redeems himself
In the 68th minute, following two unintended assists against the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, Robbie Keane came off the bench and delivered a sweet, Beckhamesque chip past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to make it 2-0 Galaxy. Let’s ask you this question: is this an MLS Goal of the Week contender? Watch for yourself and sound off in the comments below!
“Keane was spectacular,” said the Angel City Brigade’s Osmin Pena to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “He nutmegged the defender and then beat the goalkeeper while also getting an assist. We had plenty of chances when we were winning 1-0 but once he came on, he finished them. He’s a game changer that plays with heart for the Galaxy crest.”
3. Galaxy put on a passing clinic late
Here’s one of the finest sequences you will see from the Galaxy. In the 71st minute, some tiki-taco passing resulted in one of the easiest tap-ins for Zardes. This is the type of sequence that will make the Galaxy a prime contender for the MLS Cup and also set them up for a deep playoff run, make no mistake about it. Watch this.
“I was very excited about Gyasi Zardes when he was brought into the club [last year],” said the LA Riot Squad’s Andrew Alesana. “He’s brought a lot of energy and been a great asset to the club this season. Now he’s scoring goals in almost every game and I really believe that he’s going to give us the edge to help us win MLS Cup again.”
4. This is not really a rivalry
If it’s a match between two clubs who occupy the same venue, but with one in a complete state of transition, it doesn’t look like much of a rivalry. It’s more of a bittersweet farewell to a decade of one-sided success. The Galaxy’s true rivals in the league are the San Jose Earthquakes, and both teams in the California Clasico will be all right for the long haul.
“They call this a Clasico and a rivalry, but there was nothing today,” said the Galaxians’ Carlisa Perdomo. “It was all Galaxy beginning to end. The Galaxy played awesome and we were even chanting ‘ole’ as they passed the ball around against Chivas. We had the game won from the beginning.”
5. Nigel Reo-Coker and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado make a small impact
Two of Chivas USA’s new players, Nigel Reo-Coker and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, left varying degrees of impact on the match. Reo-Coker was the best on ground for Chivas, forcing the Galaxy to work their game plan on neutralizing his playmaking ability. As for Hurtado, he’s not up to fitness and will need to build chemistry with two key players missing on Sunday: Carlos Bocanegra and Tony Lochhead. When Bocanegra returns to fitness and Lochhead returns from suspension, Chivas will have a decent backline. However, knowing Chivas, that may come too little, too late.
6. The team statistics back up the scoreline
If you look at the team statistics, this was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests. The only categories that Chivas won were fouls, red cards, saves and clearances. That’s it. The Galaxy won every other category, with the exception of shots off target and yellow cards. It’s clear that these are two clubs on opposite ends of the spectrum, and it’s not going to change any time soon.
Chivas USA in red, Los Angeles Galaxy in gold
|2||Shots on Target||9|
|4||Shots off Target||4|
|81 %||Passing Accuracy||86 %|
|39.1 %||Possession||60.9 %|
The mass is ended, may this SuperClasico rest in peace. Dismissed.
Chivas USA Player Ratings
Dan Kennedy 4, Akira Kaji 2, Andrew Jean-Baptiste 2.5, Donny Toia 2, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 4, Agustin Pelletieri 2, Leandro Barrera 3, Nathan Sturgis 2, Nigel Reo-Cokker 5, Erick Torres 1, Felis Borja 3, Eric Avila 3, Marvin Chavez 2, Bobby Burling NR
Los Angeles Galaxy Player Ratings
Jaime Penedo 6, Dan Gargan 6, Leonardo 6, Omar Gonzalez 7, Robbie Rogers 6, Baggio Husidic 5.5, Juninho 7, Landon Donovan 9, Marcelo Sarvas 7, Alan Gordon 6, Gyasi Zardes 10, Robbie Keane 9, Rafael Garcia 4, Chandler Hoffman NR