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Late Alvarez equalizer helps 10-man Chivas USA tie Galaxy

ChivasUSAGalaxy (Getty)


The stage was set for a blowout even before the opening whistle of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s showdown vs. Chivas USA on Sunday, but the Goats weren’t interested in playing to the anticipated script.

Facing the defending MLS Cup champions, the Goats made things tough for the Galaxy for much of the first half, and even after a questionable red card left Chivas USA with ten men, the Goats never gave in to the Galaxy’s high-octane attack.

When a Jack McBean header in the 83rd minute gave LA the lead, Chivas USA looked finished, but they shook off that goal and came right back with an 89th minute equalizer from rookie Carlos Alvarez to give the Goats a well-deserved point in the ‘Super Clasico’.

McBean gave Los Angeles the lead when he headed a deflected Mike Magee past the out-stretched hand of a diving Dan Kennedy, but rather than put the Goats away, the McBean goal seemed to inspire Chivas USA, which promptly went searching for the equalizer.

Eric Avila started the sequence by slipping a pass to Carlos Borja on the right flank. Borja quickly fired a pass toward the back-post, where Alvarez raced in behind A.J. De La Garza for the finish and his first professional goal.

“A lot of people probably thought that game was over once Galaxy scored,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “I was really proud of us last week when we came back from a goal down to score three and get a victory. This week I have that same exact feeling. We had everything against us, we were playing with ten men against the two-time defending champs, and we showed that we could still get on the board and make this match competitive.”

“I think it was a poor performance on our part today—bad game, a lot of fouls, a lot of time-wasting,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “Not well played on our part, obviously. A terrible effort in closing the game.”

Alvarez’s goal came on his professional debut. The No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, Alvarez came on at halftime and

“Alvarez was a great college soccer player but the MLS’ level is different and he’s adjusting to it,” Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola said. “He keeps on making the effort day in and day out, but please, let’s talk about Alvarez, the human being, the young guy with big charisma, the guy who today, making his debut in the league, scored his first goal and nonetheless against the Galaxy.

“Alvarez, the individual who grew up loving this institution, in this city, and as I said, he scored in front of his family, friends, and followers. We, as an institution, should feel fortunate to have him.”

The thrilling finish was much different than the rest of the match, which was a physical, ugly and contentious affair. Chivas USA set out to disrupt the Galaxy’s high-flying attack, something the Galaxy didn’t deal with all that well. Even the man advantage couldn’t open things up for the Galaxy, who managed just three shots on goal despite the 50-minute man advantage.

How that man advantage came about was the subject of much conjecture after the match. Referee Ricardo Salazar issued a straight red card to Chivas USA defender Joaquin Velasquez for a seemingly harmless challenge on Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark (who looked no less guilty on the clash in question).

That decision led to some inflammatory comments from Sanchez Sola after the match, accusing the league of targeting Velasquez because MLS officials weren’t the ones who brought him to MLS:

“My player, Joaquin Velazquez, is not wanted by the league,” Sanchez Sola said in the post-match press conference. “From the start, the league hasn’t wanted him because the league didn’t bring him. Chivas USA brought him so the league stops intervening, and in the third game, he’s already a marked player because he’s not a league’s player. He’s not a player from New York, not a player sent by New York.”

Sanchez Sola spent a good amount of time talking about the preferential treatment he felt the Galaxy received on a day when Chivas USA was whistled for 22 fouls to the Galaxy’s eight.

“A human being has to conduct himself with respect and has to know how to respect others,” Sánchez Solá told reporters. “Our adversary was magnificent. They are by far the best team in the league and one of the best on this continent. I respect what they do, but they are New York’s team. They are the team of the (MLS) office.

“Those sort of teams exist in Spain with Real Madrid and Argentina with Boca Juniors. There is a team in every country. Galaxy is that team here.”

After the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena had some praise for Chivas USA, but also pointed to Chivas USA’s penchant for committing fouls as a reason the game was a relatively ugly one.

“Certainly, give them credit,” Arena said of Chivas USA. “They played real hard. They go in on every play. There was a lot of fouling. I wouldn’t even know what all the fouls would be, but he didn’t get all of them.

“They fouled us as much as they could. They got away with as much as they could, but that’s all a part of the game. That’s not surprising. Going into the game, their style of play—that’s what we anticipated. So there are no excuses on our part.”

Sanchez Sola didn’t exactly agree with Arena’s interpretation of Chivas USA’s approach to the match, and chose to praise his team for coming away from Sunday’s match with a draw.

“On the field, we won a point, but off the field we won a hundred points in respect,” said  Sanchez Sola. “At this point, when we talk about respect, we are a team that deserves to be champion. Our rival is one of the best in the league; they have my admiration and respect for what they do.

“As for my players, as usual, they kept on fighting, made a great effort, and I would like for everybody to respect that effort,” Sanchez Sola said. “I would like for this institution to be respected as well, that is the way it should be. This institution deserves respect.”

Here are the match highlights:


  1. Ives, how do you feel about Josue Soto’s first MLS appearance? I think he had a solid performance in his debut, as well. I believe he fits in the Chivas’ style of play a lot better than the Dynamo’s. I think he battled and worked hard down the left flank, especially when they were reduced to 10-men.

  2. What was the official explanation on the second yellow? Simulation when he fell over the guy? Or did they think he kicked the guy?

    It was obviously drama but if the 10-man team comes back to tie you 1-1, the red didn’t really decide the game. Nor did it even stop them from getting a decent result.

  3. LA played like they were uninterested the whole game. I don’t like the idea/excuse of a “CCL hangover,” but that’s what I’ve read on MLSsoccer. All the CCL teams gave up leads this weekend and either drew or lost. Very frustrating as a Galaxy fan.

    How about the Montreal Impact? 9 points out of 9, and 6 out of 6 on the road. The East is going to look pretty different this season.

    • Lame excuse.
      LA was a player up for about one hour an a bye week before thier CCL game and they complain about being tired?
      I call bs. They tied a team that’s as good if not better than them and has a better coach.

  4. “McBean gave Los Angeles the lead when he headed a deflected Mike Magee past the out-stretched hand of a diving Dan Kennedy”

    The image this puts in my head is fantastic.

  5. MLS has carried this awful franchise for years despite repeatedly idiotic moves by team management so Chelis’ comments may finally spell the end to this pathetic organization. Hasn’t Chelis ever heard the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?”. This is like getting yelled at by the homeless guy for giving him the wrong sandwich. It is too bad he had to ruin what could have been a break through performance by his team.

    • well, it might cost him money out of his own pocket in fines, but a coach (or player for that matter) making controversial statements about the league or head office is hardly a new phenomenon here in American sports leagues, or in soccer leagues around the world. It’s all just part of the show that is professional sports on this planet.

  6. Chivas usa is going to be trouble. Maybe some will like the controversy but in the end it will fuel hatred and division. Short term attention, long term detriment to mls and soccer in the us.

    • I disagree. I think with el chelis, they finally have a coach who’s imprinting his charecter on the team and it showed today. They fought and clawed themselves to a draw. If anything I think it’s about time that the second team in la start to develop some sort of identity. A competitive super Classico can only be a boon for MLS

    • Could you explain what you mean by hatred and division? Do you mean that other teams and fans might hate the Chivas team? Gosh, we never see that in any other leagues, where fans of one team hate another team, and certain teams tend to be hated more than others.

      • Try this: Chivas is trying to set up an “us against them” mentality. And the “us” is not “us”, it is them.

      • Creating an us v them mentality happens all the time in sports. The only real hatred I see is the not so subtle type in posts like yours.

      • Wrong, us against them based on national origin does not happen all the time in the USA sports world. Only in the Chivas world.

      • So what, were you a fan of Chivas before, and you’ve been pushed away by them? I’m a New England WASP, who never would have been a fan of an LA team, white or Latino, but I have no problem with Chivas, I kinda like it actually, just because I think it will be fun to have a villain team in the league. And has been pointed out, it could also be argued that Chivas is giving opportunities to Hispanic players who might have been overlooked before, because their style of play didn’t fit the run run run, kick the ball wherever style that comes from over-coaching. I’m not a fan of the team, but I am kind of rooting for them to be moderately successful, just because I think that would add a little more spice to MLS.

        I have no problem hating them because they’re an opponent and all that, but I think all the racist controversy is ridiculous.

    • No, I disagree. With MLS gaining popularity there will be a tendency to import a lot of players who are athletic but dont play good football. It will make for a bad show, what the Europeans call a league of “running beasts”. . Chivas will be a great check on this tendency and remind us what real football is. It is called healthy, objective competition.

      I just wish they offered Uni Mas on cable in my town so I could see them play.

  7. The red card was a good call. The player obviously targeted the knee of the prone player. Salazar was 6 feet from the play and from the side where he was at it was obvious.

    From the head on camera angle on the replay the kick is blocked by the prone players body.

  8. This highlights are hilarious. When LA scores it’s a beautiful play. When Chivas scores it’s because LA let them.
    Biased much?
    As far as the red card: like Chelis said, “this is New York’s team”
    The referee knows just how bad it’d look if their pride and joy lost to Chivas. He also knows who signs his paychecks.

    • “Biased much?”

      Considering the Time Warner deal LA has and Coby Jones being the color commentator, why wouldn’t it be biased?

      Chivas should just be happy a game of their is being televised.

  9. The galaxy looked flat and uninterested from the first whistle. Both Juni and Sarvas had off games, and what I at first thought was a great off season pick up in Colin Clark is looking like a mediocre at best bench option. That was in no way a second yellow let alone a red for Velasquez, and this is coming from a galaxy fan. Leonardo should have been in the starting 11 because we are much more dangerous with Franklin out on the right flank.

    • As a Dynamo fan I could have told you that about Clark going in. He’s had a couple knee ops. I think the knees are gone and though he started out ok his first year here, by the second he was immobile, and he needs some room to hit crosses, which is what he can add. I thought we needed to buy him a jetpack so he could contribute. He dropped to the bench and disappeared. I was surprised Arena signed him because he was so ineffective and dis-used at the end here.


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