By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders were coming off a very disappointing 2-0 loss at home Wednesday night to the Columbus Crew and really needed to find a way to keep that from happening again. The way they played on Saturday, Seattle possibly could've came away with all three points but instead they settled for a 1-1 draw at the Home Depot Center against a new look Chivas USA side. The Sounders will now have a two week break from MLS play. They still have a U.S. Open Cup match this Wednesday down at Starfire against the Atlanta Silverbacks and another one on June 5th should they advance with a win over Atlanta. The Sounders currently sit in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 7-3-3 (24 points).
In the 31st minute, former Sounder James Riley played a long crossfield ball to the near side for Ryan Smith. Now here's the problem, Mauro Rosales was all the way back defending because Zach Scott who was supposed to be defending Smith on these plays was in a central defensive position. Smith took advantage of that and maneuvered around Rosales and sent in a low ball to the near post for Alejandro Moreno, but Jeff Parke was there as well to knock it out of play for a corner kick. Parke has been criticised lately about his defending, but he answered all critics in this match and made some great defensive plays.
In the 39th minute, Fredy Montero sent David Estrada in behind the Chivas USA defense and it looked he had all the time and space to either get a cross in or go for goal himself, but James Riley got back and broke of the attack. That was five yards that Riley made up. Estrada is another guy that has been criticised lately. I understand Eric Wynalda was discussing this on FSN West and I have to agree with him on this part. The reason Estrada has stuggled is because of his lack of pace. So far, he's lacking still and he doesn't have the closing speed and hopefully he'll continue to work on that as the season goes on.
Two minutes later, Alvaro Fernandez headed the ball on for Marc Burch to made an excellent run from the back. However he didn't have much of an angle for a shot or a cross and the ball was easily gathered by Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
At the end of the first half, the Sounders had the best opportunity to take the lead going into the locker room. Fredy Montero got away from John Valencia and tried to find David Estrada, but the ball was deflected by Danny Califf right to Mauro Rosales who misses a golden opportunity. I don't know how much Rosales knew about it, but that was the best chance of the half for either side.
In the 57th minute, first blood went to the Goats. Peter Vagenas, another former Sounder, found James Riley on the near side with loads of space. Riley curled the ball toward the near post. Now it looked like Bryan Meredith was going to punch this one clear, but Juan Agudelo snuck right in front of him to head that one into the far corner to give Chivas USA a 1-0 lead. Agudelo's first professional goal came against the Sounders while he was playing for the New York Red Bulls and now in his second game for his new club, he repeats the trick and scores his first goal for Chivas USA against the Seattle Sounders.
In the 61st minute, the Sounders would come right back and tie it up. Shortly after coming on, Alex Caskey makes an immediate impact as he curled in a low ball right into the mixer and all David Estrada had to do was get a toe to the ball and that's exactly what he did as he made a run around John Valencia and poked the ball home for his fifth goal of the season. As for Caskey, that was his third assist of the season and I got to tell you he's outperforming Alvaro Fernandez so far this season. If Fernandez doesn't pull his head out soon, he could lose his starting job.
In the 90th minute, Eddie Johnson made a run all the way to the end line before trying to square the ball for Cordell Cato, but Cato couldn't get a foot on it. The ball bounced to Andy Rose for a first timed shot, but it was cleared away by Danny Califf. Had he not cleared the ball, it probably could've been a goal at the same time Kennedy may have had that covered, but the bottomline is Seattle couldn't find the breakthrough and come away with only a point.
Chivas USA - Juan Agudelo 1 (James Riley 2, Peter Vagenas 1) 57'
Seattle Sounders FC - David Estrada 5 (Fredy Montero 3, Alex Caskey 3) 61'
Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose (caution; foul) 20'
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey 61'); David Estrada (Cordell Cato 78'), Fredy Montero (Eddie Johnson 73')
Chivas USA - Dan Kennedy; James Riley, Danny Califf, John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie 66'), Ante Jazic; Laurent Courtois, Peter Vagenas, Ryan Smith (Cesar Romero 88'); Juan Agudelo, Jose Erick Correa (Blair Gavin 76'), Alejandro Moreno