By JONATHAN VERA
CARSON, Calif. — It wasn't too long ago that Juan Pablo Angel looked more ready to retire than to start scoring goals again, but the Chivas USA striker has enjoyed a renaissance in recent weeks that has him looking like the Angel of old.
Angel scored two goals on Saturday night, giving him five goals in his past three matches, to help Chivas USA knock off Toronto FC, 3-0.
Angel converted an Ante Jazic pass for a score in the 12th minute, then finished the match off in the 76th minute on a Ben Zemanski assist.
“Getting a goal early was good for our confidence and from there we were pretty solid, we had a few ups and down during the games, but credit to this team,” said Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser.”
While the Chivas USA defense has struggled in recent weeks without injured defensive leader Heath Pearce, the offense has picked up the pace since the arrival of Angel from Los Angeles. Since arriving at Chivas USA, Angel has scored six goals in six matches, giving him nine total goals on the season.
“It’s been very enjoyable,” said Angel. “I am finding my game again, I wish we were in a better position in the standings, but I’m enjoying what’s happening so far.”
Justin Braun also shared the glory with the Columbian by scoring his goal in the 71st minute.
“It’s nice to get a goal, and the confidence is good right now,” Braun said. “Anytime you score, it increases it so hopefully I can go on that and close the season on a high note.”
Toronto was playing on their back foot the whole night. They could not muster anything, barely even getting a shot out. The defense was stuffing any attempt by the visitors. Truly, the Goats were in rare form.
Unfortunately, the Chivas currently have 35 points in the standings and are four points behind New York. Their last three opponents are Seattle, Philadelphia, and the Galaxy. This new found energy came in a little too late.
“It’s the end of the year, but you never know what’s going to happen,” said Angel. “But it’s a bit late for us in the year. The only thing we can do is control ourselves in what we do on the field and give it the best try we can till the end of the year.”