CHIVAS USA: Two hat tricks lead Goats
CARSON -- Chivas USA's struggles in front of the net were forgotten -- for the time being, at least -- during Sunday afternoon's reserve friendly against UC Riverside. The Goats scored three times in three minutes and four in eight to pull away in a 7-1 romp.
Cesar Romero and trialist John Owoeri scored hat tricks for the Goats, whose lack of attack has been costly in successive Major League Soccer defeats, both by 1-0 scorelines, to Houston and Vancouver.
Owoeri, a former Nigerian youth international who has demonstrated great energy but subpar finishing skills since joining camp two weeks ago, tallied in the 60th, 62nd and 67th minutes as Chivas turned a two-goal advantage into a 6-0 game. He assisted Romero's finale, in the 85th.
Romero has seven goals since joining Chivas at the end of January. He had four during preseason.
Head coach Robin Fraser used the match to give six trialists -- three of them newcomers -- a look in advance of this week's expected roster decision. Left back Kevin Huezo (Santa Ana/Segerstrom HS) and former Goats midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, who was with the Portland Timbers last year, were most impressive, until Owoeri took charge after narrowly missing three times.
Lopez, 24, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Santa Barbara, played eight games in 2005-07 with Chivas but made no league appearances last year with the Timbers. He just joined camp, along with 24-year-old Congolese defender Patrick Kanyuka and 21-year-old, San Fernando Valley-bred midfielder Cameron Artigliere (Winnetka/El Camino Real HS).
Mario Ledesma -- Artigliere's old ECR teammate -- and Mexican midfielder Ernesto Hutchinson also saw time for the Goats. The seventh trialist in camp, defender Matt Dallman, is out with a hamstring injury.
Kanyuka, whose touch was off in a match played in heavy winds, arrives following a trial in England with Leeds United. The 6-foot-2 center back has spent most of his career in England and has had stints with Queens Park Rangers and with CFR Cluj in Romania. He has played this season for Tamworth in England's fifth-tier Conference National.
Artigliere recently returned to the U.S. after playing with amateurs Rheydter SV, based in Mönchengladbach, Germany.
Miller Bolaños also tallied for Chivas. English sophomore Otis Earle converted a penalty kick for UC Riverside after he was taken down by second-half goalkeeper Patrick McLain.
Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium (Carson)
Chivas USA 7, UC Riverside 1
C -- Miller Bolaños 24
C -- Cesar Romero 37
C -- John Owoeri (Marco Delgado) 60
C -- Cesar Romero 61
C -- John Owoeri (Kevin Huezo) 62
C -- John Owoeri (Scott Gordon) 67
UCR -- Otis Earle pen. 73
C -- Cesar Romero (John Owoeri) 85
Chivas USA: Tim Melia (Patrick McLain, 46); Scott Gordon, John Alexander Valencia (Patrick Kanyuka, 31), David Junior Lopes (Mario Ledesma, 70), Kevin Huezo; Marco Delgado, Ben Zemanski (Cameron Artigliere, 69), Rodrigo Lopez (Ernesto Hutchinson, 58), Miller Bolaños (Blair Gavin, 77); John Owoeri, Cesar Romero.
UC Riverside: Colt Reichl; Joseph O'Connor (Julio Reyes, 81), Juan Valladolid, Jose Diaz, Ben Sperber (Eric Johnson, 65); Aaron Long, Humberto Santiago (Hayden Leslie, 65); Neil Ignacio (Kyle Summerhill, 69, Juan Mendoza (Jon-Paul Medina, 69), Richie Osborne (Otis Earle, 69); Jimmy Martinez (Ruben Valenzuela, 65; Paul Hwang, 88).
Yellow card: O'Connor 13.
Referee: Rob Sarfaraz. Att.: c. 100.