CARSON, Calif. – Justin Braun scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the sixth minute and Paulo Nagamura added a second before the halftime break as Chivas USA claimed a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Friday night at The Home Depot Center.
With the win, Chivas USA (7-12-4, 25 pts.) leapfrogged the Revs (7-13-3, 24 pts.) into 12th place in the overall MLS standings and prevented New England from picking up back-to-back wins following an impressive victory over Seattle Sounders FC last weekend. The Revolution fell to a league-worst 1-9-1 on the road and finished the regular-season schedule winless (0-4-0) in four trips to the West Coast without scoring a goal.
Braun scored what proved to be the winner just six minutes into the game, finishing with a clever chip from a tight angle after being teed up by fellow forward Alan Gordon. Nagamura doubled Chivas USA’s lead exactly a half hour later, blasting home from the top of the box after more setup work from Gordon.
Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton made three saves to become the first goalkeeper to shut out the Revs since Nick Rimando did it in a 5-0 win for Real Salt Lake on July 2. The Revolution had scored at least one goal in 13 straight games in all competitions.
There were two changes to the Revolution side which claimed a 3-1 win over Seattle last weekend. Cory Gibbs returned from suspension to replace Seth Sinovic at left back, while Zack Schilawski filled the forward role left vacant by the suspended Marko Perovic. Both Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi were available off the bench after missing the last two games while on national team duty in Gambia.
Chivas USA did nothing to quell the Revolution’s road woes in the opening stages, as the hosts took a 1-0 lead on the first real chance of the game in just the sixth minute. Gordon appeared to have nowhere to go on the right wing, but the hulking forward split a pair of defenders to cut inside before slotting a killer pass into the box for Braun. The 23-year-old forward didn’t have much net to aim at but showed his class with a delicate chip over Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis from a tight angle.
The hosts continued to control possession early on and came inches from doubling their lead in the 26th minute. A short corner found outside back Ante Jazic with acres of space on the left wing, and the defender whipped a cross into a crowd of players in the box. Gordon rose highest and got his head on the ball, but his effort shaved the left post.
There was no escaping 10 minutes later, however, as Chivas USA took a deserved 2-0 lead through Nagamura. Michael Lahoud started the move with a driven ball into the box and Gordon deftly used his first touch to lay the ball back into the path of Nagamura, whose blast from the top of the box clipped Reis’ fingertips on its way into the back of the net.
New England’s only real threat on goal in the first half didn’t arrive until the 39th minute and it was a tame 20-yard effort from Ilija Stolica straight into the hands of Thornton.
Trailing by a pair of goals and struggling with possession, the Revs threw caution to the wind at halftime by making a pair of substitutions and switching to an attacking 3-5-2 formation. Nyassi and Khano Smith entered to take over on the wings with Kheli Dube and Emmanuel Osei making way, pushing Chris Tierney into a central midfield role.
Despite the changes it was Chivas USA which threatened shortly after the break, as Nagamura almost had a second only to see his close-range header pushed away by Reis in the 47th minute.
The Revs did eventually garner a bit more possession with the 3-5-2 setup, however, and there was a moment of quality in the 58th minute when Shalrie Joseph’s deft chip over the Chivas USA backline found Pat Phelan streaking into the box. Phelan didn’t make solid contact but got enough on his volley to force Thornton into a save.
Unfortunately that proved to be the Revolution’s best chance of the second half and the visitors never truly threatened to cut the deficit. In fact, the task became increasingly difficult for the final 12 minutes after Smith suffered a right shoulder injury, forcing the Revs – who had made all three of their substitutions – to play the closing stages with just 10 men.
The Revs will continue their travels next week when they’ll head on the road for a two-game swing through Colorado and Dallas. A visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will kick off the trip, as the Revs will take on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution at Chivas USA
September 10, 2010 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)
CHV – Justin Braun (Alan Gordon) 6
CHV – Paulo Nagamura (Alan Gordon, Michael Lahoud) 36
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei (Khano Smith 46), Roberto Linck, Nico Colaluca, Seth Sinovic, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph (C), Kheli Dube (Sainey Nyassi 46), Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 62), Ilija Stolica
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Roberto Link, Nico Colaluca, Seth Sinovic
STATS: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 6
Chivas USA: Zach Thornton ©, Mariano Trujillo, Dario Delgado, Michael Umana, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura (Marcelo Saragosa 88), Ben Zemanski, Rodolfo Espinoza, Justin Braun (Giancarlo Maldonado 80), Alan Gordon (Sal Zizzo 68)
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Guppy, Yamith Cuesta, Jesus Padilla, Jorge Flores
STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 15
CHV – Michael Umana (caution) 86
Referee: Abbey Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar, Ian Anderson
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Clear and 64 degrees
- With his start, Shalrie Joseph made his 200th career start – all in a Revolution uniform … he is just the second player in team history to make 200 starts, trailing club starts leader Jay Heaps (238, 2001-09).
- With the loss, the Revs fell to 5-5-2 overall against Chivas USA and lost both matches of the two-game 2010 season series against the club.
- Kheli Dube made his second straight start at right wing … normal starter Sainey Nyassi was available and on the bench, but has traveled more than 16,000 miles in the last 12 days after playing for Gambia – and scoring a goal – in the Black Scorpions’ 3-1 win against Namibia on Sept. 4 in Banjul, Gambia.
- Cory Gibbs returned from his one-game, red-card suspension and slotted back into the team’s left back position … Seth Sinovic, who started in Gibbs’ place last Saturday against Seattle, moved back to the bench.
- The team’s leading goal scorer, Marko Perovic, missed the match while serving a one-game yellow card accumulation suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last Saturday against Seattle.
- Zack Schilawski made his first MLS start since August 7, a 1-0 win against D.C. United at home.
- Pat Phelan, who has made 22 appearances, now leads the team in appearances this season.
- After the halftime substitutions of Khano Smith and Sainey Nyassi for Emmanuel Osei and Kheli Dube, respectively, the Revs switched to a 3-5-2 formation for the remainder of the game … Smith came on and played left wing, Nyassi replaced Dube at right wing, and Chris Tierney, who started the game as the left midfielder, moved inside centrally just ahead of Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan … the team’s backline after the switch was Darrius Barnes (left back), Cory Gibbs (center back) and Kevin Alston (right back).
- Khano Smith departed the game in the 78th minute with a right shoulder injury … as the Revs already had made three subs, the club played the final 12 minutes of the game with 10 men on the field.
- Once Smith left the field, Tierney moved back outside to the left midfield spot.