Chivas USA continue streak with win over Whitecaps


Jul 12, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chivas USA forward Erick Torres (9) celebrates a goal against Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted (1) (not pictured) during the second half at BC Place. Chivas USA won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Having their clean sheet snapped at three matches wasn’t enough for Chivas USA to have their run of form this summer halted during a tough road match with the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday night. Bouncing back from a 1-0 deficit at half time, a red card to the Whitecaps after an early second half equalizer allowed Erick “Cubo” Torres to continue to be the hero of Chivas with a game winning goal to give them their fourth straight win in MLS play.

Carlye Mitchell was the hero of the first half for Vancouver, who had a strong first half at home in front of the Southsiders on the back of their derby win over the Seattle Sounders last week. A corner kick that was sent in from Pedro Morales allowed Mitchell to beat Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy with a header that went right between Kennedy’s legs to put the ‘Caps up at the half.

In the second half it would once again be a set piece that changed the narrative of the match as Chivas equalized on a corner just two minutes in when Agustin Pelletieri’s goal off a header levelled things up. From that point Chivas would carry most of the play, energized from an early second half goal that allowed them to find their form that has carried them to a charge through the Western Conference standings as of late.

Holding onto a 1-1 scoreline, the match would turn fully into Chivas direction when Jordan Harvey took a red card in the 69th minute. Harvey took out a Chivas midfielder from behind with a harsh two footed challenge that more than warranted his sending off, but that wouldn’t change the fact that the sending off was a major turning point that allowed the guests to get even more forward momentum chasing another chance at three points.

The winner eventually came from a familiar source as once again “Cubo” Torres would be the hero for Chivas late in the match, following up his streak of winning goals in 1-Nil victories with the game winning second goal thanks to a headed effort where Chivas took advantage of Vancouver being exposed in the back down a man.

Vancouver nearly equalized in added time as Morales knocked the ball into the back of the net during a scramble in the box before the official negated the goal due to a foul on Kennedy as it was ruled that the keeper being obstructed led to the Whitecaps heroics.

Chasing a point after having their goal disallowed, Vancouver left themselves open in the back for Barrera Leandro who made it a 3-1 final as the Argentinian put the cherry on top of the fourth straight win for the once struggling Chivas club that is now the hottest side in the league since the World Cup break ended.

12 out of 12 points since MLS play resumed on June 28 has Chivas from the cellar back into the Western Conference playoff race, just two points back of the Whitecaps for fifth place and one win away from fourth place with a game at hand over FC Dallas as the chase for the playoff spots in the West continues.

Could a struggling Chivas club, dealing with economic uncertainty and lack of fan support, ride this run of form to an unlikely playoff spot? Will their strong defensive play with former USMNT star Carlos Bocanegra in the back continue to allow them to stay in matches until the finishing of Cubo Torres secures them points? Only time will tell, but for now Chivas are playing some of the best football in the league. That hasn’t been a phrase uttered by those following the league often, but for the long suffering supporters of a long suffering club things are actually looking up for Chivas USA in the second half of the 2014 campaign.