Believe it or not…the SuperClasico between Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Jose Luis Sanchez Sola’s Chivas USA is back with a vengeance. In spite of a match that was frustrating to watch if you are a fan of crisp and successful offensive sequences, a late goal on either side consigned the in-stadium rivals to a 1-1 draw before 19,000-plus at the Home Depot Center on St. Patrick’s Day.
Here are six things we learned from Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
1. Rivalry Week? More like Parity Week
This 1-1 draw was just one of a number of draws that took place across the league. New York Red Bulls and D.C. United played to a scoreless draw, as did Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire. The Columbus Crew and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw, as did the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. With this result, this is the third 1-1 draw at the weekend. #RivalryWeek? More like #ParityWeek if you ask me.
2. Jack McBean gives some hope
In the 83rd minute, Jack McBean gave the Los Angeles Galaxy a late lead thanks to a deflection from Mike Magee. This wasn’t as much a great goal from McBean as it was a poor save attempt from Dan Kennedy, who was stellar up to that point.
3. Carlos Alvarez injects life into the rivalry
Remember when Sanchez Sola, a.k.a. El Chelis, said that he would draft Alvarez in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft? Well, it was for a reason. The second-overall draft pick from UConn took advantage of a delivery from Carlos Borja to put the match on level terms in the 89th minute of play. If there was one person on Chivas that was capable of kickstarting a rivalry back into gear, it’s Alvarez. Getting schooled by a rookie is nothing new for Los Angeles: last season, Kelyn Rowe made the Galaxy pay for awful defending in their 3-1 defeat to the New England Revolution on Mar. 31, 2012.
4. Chivas pays a price for the tie
Chivas drawing even with the Galaxy did not come without a price. Joaquin Velasquez was sent off in the 40th minute for serious foul play. Also, following the McBean goal, one of the Chivas USA assistants was sent off for remonstrations to the fourth official. It may not just be red cards that Chivas USA will be penalized with. That wallet may be getting a little thinner later this week.
5. Herediano hangover for Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy made Club Sport Herediano look really bad on Sunday. Despite leading a number of key statistics such as attempts on goal (14 to two), shots on target (three to one), possession (61.8 percent to 38.2 percent), passing accuracy (78 percent to 69 percent), duels won (47 to 30), duels won percentage (61 percent to 38 percent), corner kicks (five to one) and open play crosses (18 to nine), Los Angeles played gong show football in the attacking third. The Galaxy failed to connect on their crosses and paid the price for having one too many shots wide or collected. I like to call this “The Herediano Hangover.” Get sober in a hurry, Los Angeles Galaxy. You never want to come into a rivalry of this magnitude punch-drunk.
6. Big Days Out for Borja and Burling
Carlos Borja and Bobby Burling of Chivas USA had a great day out against the Galaxy. Borja, in particular, had to shoulder a lot of the load at Velazquez was sent off late in the first half and was solid defensively. Also solid in the back was former San Jose Earthquake Bobby Burling, who held Robbie Keane in check and gave him his first bad game of the season.