Los Angeles Soccer: David Lindholm
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.
Chivas USA's search for a head coach is in its final stages, and a club source says management has trimmed the pool of candidates to three.
No word on whether former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is one of the three.
Osorio, a Colombian coach who went to college and has coached extensively in the U.S., is currently in charge of Once Caldas in Colombia. He was in charge of the Fire in 2007 and left the club after the season to become coach of the Red Bulls. He resigned in August 2009 with New York holding the worst record in MLS.
Speculation in the U.S. coaching community is that Osorio might get the job, but Chivas USA spokesman David Lindholm said the club would not comment on specific candidates.
“The process is in the final stages, and there is a smaller list of candidates” being considered, Lindholm said. “Stephen [Hamilton, Chivas USA's director of soccer] has said that he's hopeful to have a hire by Christmas, and that is still the case.”
Lindholm wouldn't confirm nor deny that three candidates remain. Hamilton was not made available.
“What I can tell you,” Lindholm said, “is we've not made an offer to anyone and we've not made a decision on a specific candidate.”
The initial list of about a dozen candidates included Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser, a former star defender for the Galaxy; former Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch, who retired after the 2009 season to join U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley's staff; and former U.S. national team striker Eric Wynalda, who plans to include Chivas legends Ramon Ramirez and Claudio Suarez on his staff if he's hired.
Chivas USA also is believed to have spoken to several candidates in Mexico, including some involved with Club Deportivo Guadalajara, Chivas' parent club.