Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Chivas USA haven’t lost this year when Erick “Cubo” Torres has scored.
With Chivas USA up a man late in the match, Torres arrived like a thief in the night at the back post and calmly headed home the game-winning-goal, before Chivas USA finished off the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-1, to stun the crowd at BC Place on Saturday evening.
It was Chivas USA’s fourth consecutive win, lifting them into seventh place in the Western Conference, just one point behind the LA Galaxy.
The Whitecaps, who have struggled to score goals from set pieces this season, found their opener from an unlikely source.
Defender Carlyle Mitchell worked some space from his mark, Chivas USA’s Eriq Zavaleta, and easily headed past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in the 27th minute to give the Whitecaps the lead. The goal was Carlyle Mitchell’s first goal in MLS. However, it was the only goal-scoring of the day for the hosts.
On a similar corner kick just two minutes into the second half, Chivas USA tied the score. Mauro Rosales beautifully curled in a corner kick and it was met by the head of Agustin Pelletieri.
The Whitecaps attempted to bring new life to their attack thanks to the substitutions from head coach Carl Robinson, who brought in Darren Mattocks and Nigel Reo-Coker.
The pair were on the end of a few chances, combining well with Pedro Morales and Erik Hurtado but that was all for naught when Jordan Harvey earned a straight red card in the 69th minute. Harvey went into a challenge with Osvaldo Minda and slid into the Ecuadorian with both studs exposed, forcing the referee to reach straight to the back pocket.
Reo-Coker missed a great opportunity in the box a few minutes after but in the 81st minute, Chivas USA went ahead for good. Marco Delgado stole the ball in midfield and played a nice one-two with Rosales. Delgado got the return pass on the right sideline and sent in a beautiful ball to the back post, which had Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted off his line and allowed Torres to run onto the ball and score.
The goal was Torres’ fifth goal in as many games.
With the Whitecaps pushing everything forward towards the end and Ousted up for a corner kick, Chivas USA were able to clear and Leandro Barrerra scored from 40-yards out on a roller into an empty net to make it a 3-1 scoreline.
Here are the game highlights:
i hope Torres can move on to Europe so we can see him against the best competition..he’s been so good in MLS it’s hard to figure out why he didn’t get a chance South of the border..i know their league is still slightly better than ours..but the gap can’t be that wide
slightly better? LOL
Mexico is still much better than MLS, but it’s really comparing apples and oranges. Liga MX has no salary cap restrictions. Considering what the average MLS team can do with $3 million, we’re really much closer to Mexico than it appears.
Let’s give the kid a lot of credit. He’s in a awful club situation but he’s making the most of it. I for one hope he keeps up the good work. Hopefully the next owners can work out a deal to keep him here. I look forward to seeing him in the game against Bayern Munich.
Let’s hope he gets the requisite votes to make the team, or The Don adds him by executive order or something. He’s one of the hottest, if not the hottest, striker in MLS right now. He deserves it.
This is a bit of a tangent, given that Torres is cr@p-tied to the Chivas organization and will be heading back to the mothership after this chapter… Also, more of a question than an argument so nobody needs to blow a gasket…
But really it’s getting eerie as an LA sports fan to be seeing this plot again. Yet another unpopular ownership group is being flushed out of town, leaving behind a clean and relatively unencumbered asset that could actually command a very high level of interest. I am not entirely kidding when I say that feel like we should expect to hear about a Magic Johnson-led consortium at any moment. Heck, throw Becks in there… why not at this point?
The Galaxy are in a good position, but if I’m in their shoes I’d be double checking my work to see what lessons have been learned. Over the course of the past 24 months, the Lakers have become a case study in how to blow a formerly unassailable brand advantage over their stepchild crosstown non-rivals, particularly as ownership/management has not demonstrated that they have a vision for the inevitable reboot, as the legacy of the Leiweke-edition Galaxy head into its final stages. The Galaxy do not have a situation that is gnarly as the Kobe Bryant fiasco that will anchor the team for as long as Kobe desires, but e the they do have an aging group of “premium” pieces that no longer seem good enough to mount a serious title challenge. Omar may be departing if rumors of int’l interest are true, and it may be that this is a good window to start getting detail-oreinted about what this team is supposed to look like in 2-3 years, and how that will be funded.
From a financial/business standpoint, valuation of all these franchises is being driven by ambiguous TV rights, whose value increasingly appears to have been overstated– performance of the TWC contracts in place at Dodgers, Lakers, and Galaxy already look like they may need to be discounted/renogiatiated at some point during the supposed term. It was a risky strategy to begn with and TWC has no history of competence at any level (as everybody alive knows). Nobody is satisfied with their deal, and the production value makes Fox Soccer Channel look like the Super Bowl. Results may eventually turn toward expectations, but right now I’d think a deep-pocketed investor might see opportunity in the flexibility still available at the Chivas entity, particularly if they have a brand/TV platform to tie the new franchise into.
Anyway, random thoughts. Just hope the Galaxy have a better plan in mind than Jeremy Lin while the neighbors are getting noisy.
Re: Torres being tied to the Chivas mothership, MLS has a purchase option for him. I’ve seen some journalists saying that Torres is beginning to make folks south of the border take notice so in the event he wants to go back to Liga MX, maybe MLS exercises the option only to sell him on for a profit. If he’s content to stay in MLS more power to him.
Do they have a purchase option on him? I hadn’t heard that – I know they had an option to extend through the end of the year (which they utilized about a month ago). It would be cool if they did. Torres has said he’d like to try his hand a Europe, and with the seasons he’s had/having, I’d expect him to play out his current contact rather than re-sign, as he’ll definitely have European suitors.