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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
CHIVAS USA: Bolaņos debuts in win

By Scott French

CARSON -- Miller Bolaņos made his Chivas USA debut, Ben Zemanski returned from concussion and top draft pick Casey Townsend celebrated his first start in red and white with a goal.

All in all, a good afternoon for the Goats. Oh, and they won.

Townsend's strike right at the start, from a Ryan Smith feed, lifted Chivas USA to a 1-0 triumph over the Montreal Impact in a 60-minute session Tuesday on one of the fields east of Home Depot Center's main stadium, the club's first win over Major League Soccer competition this preseason.

The result didn't matter nearly as much as did the opportunity to survey several players looking to make the roster, and head coach Robin Fraser gave several -- including rookie defenders R.J. Allen and Fabian Kling and trialists Cesar Romero and Mario Ledesma -- the full hour to show what they can do.

Romero is a good bet to win a job. One of the goalkeepers in action -- UCLA product Brian Rowe, a supplemental draft pick, in the first half and Cal Poly's Patrick McLain -- likely will claim the No. 3 slot, behind Dan Kennedy and Tim Melia.

Kennedy, striker Juan Pablo Angel and No. 2 left back Jorge Villafaņa weren't available. They were part of group of Chivas officials, players, sponsors, ChivaGirls and media who flew Tuesday to Guadalajara for Wednesday's unveiling, on a flight back to L.A., of the club's new uniform.

Zemanski played a half as a holding midfielder, his first real action since sustaining a concussion near the end of the first week of camp. Townsend, a first-round draft pick from Maryland, made just his second appearance after a hamstring injury slowed him down for three weeks.

Bolaņos' much-anticipated debut lasted a half-hour, and he's still working on his fitness. The skilled Ecuadoran attacking midfielder, just 21, arrived on loan from LDU Quito and will battle several players, including Nick LaBrocca and Alejandro Moreno for the job just under Angel in a 4-2-3-1 alignment. He could play up front or atop the midfield diamond in a 4-4-2 system.

This is considered a new start for Bolaņos, who had to rebuild his career after testing positive for cocaine in October 2007 while playing for Barcelona, a club in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He's got tremendous upside -- new Chivas midfielder Oswaldo Minda, an Ecuadoran who played for LDU's archrival, Deportivo Quito, said he was the second-best player in Ecuador the past two years.

WORTH NOTING: Goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, a former Cal State Northridge star from Chino Hills who has spent the past three years as an MLS pool goalkeeper (available to any MLS club needing a keeper because of injury, suspension or international call-up), is back in Chivas' camp after a scheduled trial with Seattle fell apart. Guppy has trained primarily with the Goats the past three years and is also in the running for the No. 3 job in the nets. ... Tuesday's game was slated for 45 minutes, but Fraser wanted to play 70, and the teams compromised on 60. ... Chivas plays Thursday morning against the Galaxy in a closed-door scrimmage, then plays next week against Club Tijuana in San Diego before heading to Portland for a four-team tournament. ... Montreal started a half-dozen players who were on the field in the second half of its 3-0 victory over the Galaxy, a game played just prior to this one on an adjacent field.


Home Depot Center University Field 2 (Carson)
Chivas USA 1, Montreal Impact 0

C -- Casey Townsend (Ryan Smith) 2

Chivas USA: Brian Rowe (Patrick McLain, 31); R.J. Allen, Fabian Kling, David Junior Lopes, Mario Ledesma; Ben Zemanski (Blair Gavin, 31), Peter Vagenas; Cesar Romero, Miller Bolaņos (Marco Delgado, 31), Ryan Smith; Casey Townsend (Chris Cortez, 40).

Montreal Impact: Greg Sutton (Evan Bush, 30); Jeb Brovsky (Calum Mallace, 33), Nevio Pizzolitto, Gienir Garcia, Simon Gatti; Evan James, Collen Warner (Bryan Arguez, 31), Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Gerson Mayen; Steven Miller, Aaron Schoenfeld.

Yellow cards: Allen 17, Gatti 18.

Referee: Daniel Radford. Att.: c. 35


Record: 2-3-0; vs, MLS: 1-2-0
Jan. 27 vs. Ventura County Fusion (PDL), 60 mins.: L, 0-1
Feb. 3 vs. FC Hasental (NPSL): W, 5-0
(Lahoud 22, Angel pen. 24, Smitth 40, Cortez 50, Romero 89)
Feb. 7 vs. Colorado Rapids: L, 0-1
Feb. 11 vs. Chicago Fire: L, 0-1
Feb. 14 vs. Montreal Impact: W, 1-0
(Townsend 2)

Remaining games
Feb. 16 vs. Galaxy at Home Depot Center
Feb. 22 vs. Club Tijuana (Mexico) at University of San Diego
Feb. 27 vs. AIK (Sweden) at Portland, Ore.
March 1 at Portland Timbers
March 4 vs. San Jose Earthquakes at Portland, Ore.