Los Angeles Soccer: Diego Fagundez

MLS Power Rankings, Week 22: Young blood

August, 10, 2011
A historic weekend has passed in Major League Soccer, with five teens scoring goals -- including two local products.

Garden Grove's Luis Gil, who at 17 has become a real contributor for Real Salt Lake, netted his first MLS goal in the Utahns' 3-0 romp over New York, firing inside the far post for the second goal.

Woodland Hills' Orr Barouch, 19, continued a fine rookie season for the struggling Chicago Fire, scoring his second league goal -- and eighth in all competitions -- in a loss at Vancouver.

Jack McInerney, 19, scored his first of the year and fourth of his young career with Philadelphia, and Gershon Koffie, 19, scored his first for Vancouver.

The biggest impression was made by 16-year-old Diego Fagundez, who has overshadowed two experienced debutants -- New England teammate Milton Caraglio and Chivas USA's Laurent Courtois -- by scoring a goal and drawing the penalty for another in the Revolution's loss to the Goats.

This week's rankings:

1. GALAXY (13-3-9, 48 points), Last week: 1
Week 21:
Poor effort ends 14-game unbeaten streak in 3-0 loss at Portland; three David Beckham set pieces add up to 3-1 win over FC Dallas
Remark: Landon Donovan joins New York's Rafa Marquez and Man United's Wayne Rooney on the cover of EA Sports' “FIFA Soccer 12”
Captain: Donovan, with Beckham, Gregg Berhalter and Donovan Ricketts down the pecking order
Next: Tuesday in a CONCACAF Champions League Group A game vs. Motagua (Honduras) at Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel, 9:30 p.m.); Saturday, Aug. 20, vs. San Jose at Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m. (Prime Ticket)

2. FC DALLAS (12-6-6, 42 points), Last week: 2
Week 21: Ugo Ihemelu
's goal completes 2-0 aggregate win over Alianza (El Salvador) in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round; Marvin Chavez's early goal won't stand up in 3-1 loss to the Galaxy
Remark: Daniel Hernandez says Galaxy had 12th man in showdown: “It doesn’t help when you have a ref that listens to Beckham and Donovan at the beginning and does what they want”
Captain: Hernandez, a one-time Galaxy midfielder who played for Hoops coach Schellas Hyndman at SMU
Next: Saturday at Philadelphia, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

3. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-5-8, 41 points), Last week: 3
Week 21: Nate Jaqua
's overtime goal delivers preliminary-round triumph over San Francisco FC (Panama) in the CONCACAF Champions League; Mauro Rosales scores, creates stoppage-time goals to beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-1
Remark: Heroic performances prod Sounders to Champions League group stage, past K.C. in clinical comeback
Captain: Goalkeeper Kasey Keller
Next: Saturday vs. Chivas USA, 1 p.m. (Prime Ticket and KWHY/Channel 22); Tuesday in CONCACAF Champions League Group D game vs. Comunicaciones (Guatemala), 7 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

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CHIVAS USA: Moreno's two goals enough

August, 6, 2011

It was hardly the kind of performance Chivas USA was looking for, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. And the Goats were more than lucky Saturday night, pulling out a wild 3-2 triumph at New England, a result that easily could have gone the other way.

Alejandro Moreno, making his first start since returning from Copa America, netted two goals, Nick LaBrocca added a goal and an assist and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy added to his growing legend with two sensational saves as Chivas (7-8-8) held on after the Revolution (4-10-9) twice carved a two-goal deficit in half, the last time in the 86th minute.

“We're happy for the three points, but it wasn't good enough,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser told ESPNLosAngeles.com afterward. “The way we played the game and the way we finished the game was not good enough. [I was unhappy with] our inability to close out the game once we went up, 3-1. He should have been able to close out in a slightly more comfortable fashion.

“For us to get to the lofty goals we've set for ourselves, we need to be able to close out a game like that.”

Chivas did well finishing their chances -- they put just four shots on goal, three of those hitting the nets -- but struggled to create. New England had far more opportunities but did little with them, and Revs coach Steve Nicol complained to the media afterward that he “could have been standing here with a 6- or 7-3 victory.” He wasn't lying.

The Revolution missed at least two, maybe three can't-miss opportunities, and Kennedy made two massive stops on Shalrie Joseph, both to preserve one-goal advantages.

French midfielder Laurent Courtois, who came on in the second half for the Goats, was one of three debutants, along with New England's new Designated Player, Milton Caraglio, and spiky-haired 16-year-old Diego Fagundez.

The teen made the biggest impact among the three, winning the penalty for Joseph's 69th-minute finish from the spot (on a Heath Pearce foul at the top of the box; the Goats thought he dived) and scoring in the 86th (after rookie Zarek Valentin misjudged and then misplayed a long ball from Kevin Alston).

Moreno scored from a superb LaBrocca feed in the 31st and from a nifty four-pass sequence in the 80th. LaBrocca finished his own rebound in the 59th.

“[Moreno] was a huge plus,” Fraser said. “He was instrumental in what we were able to do today, to be on the end of dangerous opportunites” and finish them.”

A quick look at Chivas' victory:

BEST PLAYER: Kennedy has quietly risen among MLS's best netminders, and he was outstanding again -- without him, the Goats go down.

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