Chivas USA Notes : 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City

Chivas USA scored two second-half goals but came up just short in a match with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Defender Jimmy Conrad scored a goal on his debut with the Red-and-White, and Ben Zemanski added another, but Chivas USA could not find the equalizer.
·         Sporting Kansas City got off to a great start under its new name and with its new star player, with Omar Bravo scoring twice for the team. Kei Kamara assisted on both of Bravo’s goals.

·         The Red-and-White made two defensive lapses at the beginning and end of the first half, giving up a goal to C.J. Sapong in just the second minute, and then to Bravo late into first-half stoppage time. Aside from those moments, Chivas USA played well in the first session, holding possession and earning a few chances.

·         The goal by Sapong was the quickest by a rookie beginning his MLS career. Sapong opened his MLS account just 1:45 into his career in the league.

·         The second half began with the Red-and-White coming out strong, and the team was rewarded in minute 56 when Jimmy Conrad finished after a corner kick was knocked down in the box. It was Conrad’s debut for the team, and came in front of a group of more than 200 friends and family in attendance to see him. “It was my 20th career goal,” said Conrad after the match. “I’m averaging like 1.7 a season… I don’t if my math’s right.”
·         After Bravo’s second goal in minute 74 on a counterattack, Chivas pulled within one again when Nick LaBrocca played a cleared corner kick back over the defense to Zemanski, who scored from close range. It was Zemanski’s first career MLS goal.

·         Many Chivas USA players made their debuts for the club, with the starting 11 sharing just one player (Ante Jazic) from the group that started the 2010 MLS season a year ago. Conrad, Heath Pearce, Zarek Valentin, Nick LaBrocca, Marcos Mondaini and Alejandro Moreno made their first appearances with the Red-and-White, and Francisco Mendoza returned to the team after two years away.

·         Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser, on tonight’s match: “I feel like when you play at home you should win, end of story, so we’re disappointed about not winning. But I was very, very encouraged by a lot of the soccer that we saw tonight. I thought that at times, for good portions of the match, we played very good soccer, got into the attacking end.” More from players and coach Fraser can be found on cdchivasusa.com.
·         Next home game: Chivas USA hosts the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids next Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center. For more information, or for tickets to any Chivas USA match, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.