Los Angeles Soccer: Steve Purdy
March, 29, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Chivas USA's third outing under Robin Fraser was not unlike the first two, except for the red card.
The Goats played with great clarity at times, stringing together passes like a poor man's Real Salt Lake. And they defended well. Creating chances? Well, that just doesn't seem to part of their skill set yet.
The Portland Timbers, playing their first competitive home game as a Major League Soccer franchise, pulled out a 2-0 triumph in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup qualifier on a wet, windy evening at the University of Portland's Merlo Field. Late goals by Jack Jewsbury and Eric Brunner made the difference, sending the home side to a second-round qualifier next month at San Jose.
Chivas, already missing five clear starters and two others expected to contribute, were down to 10 men after Andy Boyens picked up yellow cards in the 36th and 43rd minutes, the first for persistent infringement, the second -- accompanied, of course, by a red card -- after muscling Kenny Cooper to the ground.
Again, it was too much to overcome, and Chivas USA, despite solid play in certain areas in all three games, is 0-3 under Fraser -- and have not held a lead yet this season.
A quick look at Chivas' loss:
BEST PLAYER: Several impressed, no one more so than Portland right back Steve Purdy, who was superb defensively -- he made several big plays and prevented Chivas from creating from Marcos Mondaini's work on the flank. We also liked Kalif Alhassan and Peter Lowry in midfield and Jewsbury off the bench for the Timbers.
Chivas' best: Choose among Ben Zemanski, solid in just his second start in central defense; University of Portland alum Heath Pearce, excellent at left back and, after Boyens' expulsion, in the middle; and especially Justin Braun, who was Chivas' chief attacker most of the night.
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