CHIVAS USA: Moreno scored with '15 hairs'
April, 27, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Alejandro Moreno's exasperation was apparent. Another question about his goal in last weekend's victory at San Jose? Really?
The Venezuelan forward has been asked again and again about the goal at the end of the first half, the Goats' first in a 2-1 comeback triumph that made Robin Fraser a winner for the first time in Major League Soccer. It was, officially, a header from Heath Pearce's free kick that bounced inside the left post, but repeated viewings of the play have many believing Pearce should have received credit.
If you believe that, Moreno says, "well, you would be wrong."
MLS's statisticians agree, confirming Monday that the goal was Moreno's, his second this season and 48th in nine-plus MLS seasons, including one in Columbus' playoff run toward its MLS Cup 2008 title.
Pearce, in his third MLS season after four years in Denmark and Germany, has never scored in 40 league outings.
"I haven't seen the replays, but if he said he touched it, I assume he touched it. So it's his goal," Pearce said after the Goats' training session Wednesday. "I just tried to put the ball in a dangerous spot, and he got his head on it, so he got a goal."
The close-cropped Moreno said the ball hit him "in about 15 of the hairs in front of my head" and that Pearce "knows I touched it. From his angle, he could see me getting up for the ball and touching it. I can't argue against the TV angles, all I can tell you is I touched the ball."
Pearce, who has played at left back most of his career but has played at center back the past 4½ games, acknowledges he'd like to hit the net one day.
"Everybody loves to score goals. Even goalies like to score goals," he said. "It's something I would love to do at some point in my career."
This one, he'll let Moreno have. And he does get credit for an assist, his eighth in MLS.
"Assists are good, too," he said. "But in all honesty, all jokes aside, what was most important was for us to get the win. ... As long as we're winning, I don't really care who scores, you know? I don't care if the other team scores against themselves as long as we win."
WORTH NOTING: Jimmy Conrad's progress in recuperating from a concussion has stalled -- he's still got symptoms, he says, which is preventing him from training with the Goats. Conrad, who was hurt in a March 26 loss to Colorado, must be asymptomatic for a week before he may train, and then he must see a neurologist after training once. Conrad saw a neurologist last week. ... Midfielder/defender Michael Lahoud, who suffered a concussion in the April 16 draw at Vancouver, also is waiting for his symptoms to die down. ... Midfielder Paulo Nagamura has not trained this week following a relapse of his calf injury after playing at Vancouver. He did not travel to San Jose with the Goats last week. ... The reserve game scheduled for Wednesday against UC Santa Barbara was called off when the Gauchos' bus, set to take the team to Carson, was halted by a mechanical issue. ... Communications manager David Lindholm is leaving Chivas to take the top spot with Colorado Rapids' media-relations department. Lindholm, who was a goalkeeper at NCAA Division III school Middlebury (Vt.) College and with the Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League, interned with Chivas in 2006 and joined the staff in 2008.