CARSON -- It happened again for Chivas USA -- another 1-0 loss at home, and in a match that turned really ugly at the end -- but forget the score and how Philadelphia got its goal, and it felt a lot like a victory.
The Goats dominated the Union on Saturday night at Home Depot Center, racking up 21 shots (to just four for the visitors), sending 40 crosses in from the run for play (to just five for Philly) and holding onto the ball for two-thirds of the game. Impressive numbers, but the only one that mattered -- how many of the chances generated were finished -- was nil.
“Obviously, we're gutted,” said right back James Riley, whose misplay in the box led to the goal, by Freddy Adu just before halftime. “Obviously we don't ever want to lose four straight at home, especially 1-0.”
The good news for the Goats: Next week's game is on the road, at Colorado. Chivas (3-4-0, 9 points) has won all three away games.
They should have had this one, too, but Philadelphia sat back, was difficult to break down, scored on its only real chance, then hung on as Chivas sent a barrage of balls into the box in the second half but forcing Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to make just one tough save, diving to parry a 28-yard free kick from Blair Gavin.
Miller Bolaños was the primary instigator, repeatedly taking on defenders along the right flank -- Wildomar's Gabriel Farfan, largely -- and spraying balls into the middle, but the Goats struggled to get on the end of crosses, and when they did, the touches weren't quite right.
Philly's goal came from an odd play. Michael Farfan -- Gabriel's twin brother -- danced into the box from the right flank and was able to get a low cross into the goalmouth past defender Heath Pearce. It hit Riley, who should have cleared the ball but instead fell over. Adu backheeled it into the net.
“I take full responsibility,” Riley said. “For sure, it's a play I make 99 times out of 100, for sure. I feel bad for the team, letting them down that way. ... Just leaned back too much. It got caught under me. I was just going to try to swipe it out. I was in a good position, just didn't execute it.”
Juan Pablo Angel, back in action after missing five games following a concussion, came on in the second half and had Chivas' best opportunity. Bolaños delivered a perfect cross just beyond the 6-yard box, but the big striker's header bounced wide and high.
“Great cross from Miller, and I completely missed it,” Angel said. “Obviously, the timing. It was good to be at the end of those chances. The one that disappointed me the most was the free kick [fired high in the 74th]. Just yanked it completely.”
The game changed in the final 20 minutes. First Philly forward Keon Daniel was sent off for a retaliatory foul against Ryan Smith. Bolaños volleyed a Pearce cross two minutes later, and three corner kicks followed, leading to nothing.
Then Gabriel Farfan was red-carded after a studs-high attack on Riley in the 85th. Head coach Peter Nowak was escorted to the locker rooms, too. That was followed by another flurry of chances.
“I feel like this is one that definitely got away ...,” Chivas head coach Robin Fraser said. “It's disappointing. I think we did a good job getting the ball into wide areas, we got dangerous service in, we were knocking on the door, and at the end, if you don't finish your chances, then you walk away feeling like this.”
How does it feel to score no goals, get no points, out of four home games? Not very good.
“Certainly, that's not something we're happy about at all,” Fraser said. “At the end of the day, you look at the result, and the result is what it is. But if you look at the game and the number of chances we played, and potential opportunities, possible ... questionable calls that could have led to different results. I'm never one to blame anyone outside of ourselves for a result, but we did quite a bit tonight and could have been rewarded a bit more for what we did.”
Said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: “It's so early on [in the season] that the good thing is we're still in it with our points because we've done so well on the road. We're not going to let [four home losses] have a cumulative effect on us. I think we have a lot to be happy about, aside from the result. Obviously, we're focused on results, and that is the most important thing, but we shouldn't hang our head from this. It was just a very frustrating, frustrating match to play in.”
WORTH NOTING: Kennedy had to make just one save. “Really, it was one of the easiest nights I've had,” he said. “I wasn't very busy at all.” ... Riley said he was fine after the vicious tackle by Gabriel Farfan. His shinguard was cracked but it did its job. ... Oswaldo Minda was hit in the face during the first half and departed soon after halftime because it was bothering him. He was holding an ice bag to his face when media entered the locker room after the game. Gavin, who replaced him, was terrific. ... Paolo Cardozo, acquired in a trade nearly two weeks ago from the Galaxy, made his debut for the Goats, starting in central midfield in a 4-1-4-1 alignment. He went 62 minutes. ... Chivas faces Seattle in an MLS Reserve League game Monday morning at HDC.
Home Depot Center (Carson)
Chivas USA 0, Philadelphia Union 1
P -- Freddy Adu 40
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy; James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie (Casey Townsend, 90), Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic; Oswaldo Minda (Blair Gavin, 55); Ryan Smith, Paolo Cardozo (Juan Pablo Angel, 63), Nick LaBrocca, Miller Bolaños; Alejandro Moreno. Unused subs: Scott Gordon, Tim Melia, John Alexander Valencia, Jorge Villafaña.
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath; Raymon Gaddis, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan; Gabriel Gomez (Amobi Okugo, 71), Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan (Jack McInerney, 92+), Freddy Adu (Chris Albright, 81); Keon Daniel, Lionard Pajoy. Unused subs: Chase Harrison, Cristhian Hernandez, Josue Martinez, Danny Mwanga.
Yellow cards: Moreno 46+, Valdes 60, Pajoy 70, Williams 73, Kennedy 87. Red cards: Daniel 75, G. Farfan 85, Philadelphia head coach Nowak 86.
Referee: Juan Guzman. Att.: 14,127.
Records: Chivas USA 3-4-0, 9 points; Philadelphia 2-3-1, 7 points.