Monday, October 04, 2010
Players promise Sunday's SuperClásico will be intense
CARSON, Calif. — There’s always a lot of hype surrounding the SuperClásico. People like to talk about how much Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy don’t like each other, about how brutal the game will be, and about how intense the rivalry is.
The thing is, those people are right. The Goats and the Galaxy don’t like each other. The games are brutal. The rivalry is real.
READ: Goats, Galaxy rekindle rivalry in SuperClásico
“These games are always a battle,” LA defender Omar Gonzalez said at a press conference on Friday afternoon. “We play in the same stadium, we practice on the same campus – we always want to beat each other.”
The Galaxy enter Sunday’s match with the best record in MLS and an assured place in the 2010 postseason. Chivas USA, meanwhile, sit in last place in the Western Conference and hold onto slim hopes of a fifth consecutive playoff appearance.
But none of that will matter for an hour and a half this weekend.
“These games are special in the sense that standings – where you are in the table – don’t really matter,” said Chivas USA left back Ante Jazic. “It’s just 90 minutes of battling and scrapping. We want to win this SuperClásico.”
The Goats haven’t been able to defeat the Galaxy since September of 2007, a statistic Chivas USA are eager to change and one that the Galaxy intend to uphold.
“This is my second year and I [I haven’t] lost to Chivas yet,” said Gonzalez. “I’d like to keep it that way.”
READ: Top 3 SuperClásicos
Chivas USA are especially keen to avenge their 2009 playoff expulsion at the hands of Los Angeles. The Red-and-White were pushed out thanks to a 3-2 aggregate score against the Galaxy.
“Being eliminated from the playoffs last year by the Galaxy was painful,” said Jazic. “The Galaxy definitely feel like they own the stadium and that Chivas are the tenants. For us, we’re still trying to earn that respect.”
Whatever the outcome of Sunday’s game, the match is likely to be a lively one. The SuperClásico never fails to disappoint when it comes to a tenacious game of soccer and an electric atmosphere.
“The atmosphere has a European flavor to it,” said Jazic. “Not just on the field, but in The Home Depot stands. Just the tension in the air is electric and everyone feels it. That’s special because it doesn’t happen often in MLS.”
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Long-time Brazilian friends find chemistry, impenetrable vs. D.C.
CARSON, Calif. – They have known each other for 13 years and played together at three separate clubs in two different continents. They also speak the same language and call the same country home.
They are Paulo Nagamura and Marcelo Saragosa, and last Saturday evening, they were an impenetrable force in the center of the pitch for Chivas USA. The two Brazilians found instant chemistry in their first pairing of the 2010 season to help the Goats to a 1-0 victory over visiting D.C. United.
WATCH: MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
“It was good,” Nagamura said on Sunday. “Marcelo did a good job tonight, and that’s maybe one of the reasons why we scored an early goal.”
Nagamura has been a mainstay in Chivas USA’s central midfield since returning to the team this past July. The 27-year-old has been matched up with a number of different players so far this year, including Saragosa, Blair Gavin, Ben Zemanski and Michael Lahoud.
“I’ve played with three or four different guys in the middle,” Nagamura said. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about how we apply ourselves as a team.”
The starting nod was Saragosa’s seventh in a 2010 season that has seen him struggle to break into the Red-and-White’s starting XI.
“For me, it was great to get back into the first team and help earn the three points,” Saragosa said. “For the team, it’s a much-needed victory if we’re going to maintain any hope of making the playoffs. I have to keep working hard, keep my head on the field and stay ready for the chances that I get.”
Nagamura and Saragosa first met back in Brazil, where they both played in the youth system of São Paulo FC. They were then reunited in 2005 when they both played for the LA Galaxy.
“We were 14 or 15 [years old] when we first met,” said Nagamura. “I’m pretty familiar with Marcelo. We’ve known each other for a long time. We have a good relationship.”
Both players admit that their friendship off the field plays a huge role in their strong chemistry on it.
“We’ve worked together on the field a number of times and we like doing it,” said Saragosa. “Paulo is a great player and a great person, and we feel very comfortable playing together.”
It’s unclear whether Saragosa will continue to be the preferred midfield partner for Nagamura as the team travels to Seattle on Wednesday for its US Open Cup semifinal. But if the two continue to play as well as they did on Sunday evening, it’s a real possibility that Goats fans will be hearing Portuguese in central midfield for weeks to come.
“It was Portuguese in the middle of the field [on Sunday],” said Nagamura with a smile. “It’s good; people can’t understand what we’re saying. They think they do – but they don’t.”
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
The World Cup is upon us, Chivas USA fans! I don’t know about you, but I am extremely excited to watch my home country Brazil play their first group match. Brazil is in what some call, “the group of death,” that includes the Ivory Coast, North Korea, and one of the World Cup favorites, Portugal. Although Brazil will be facing these strong teams, I think Brazil will do well and advance to the next round of the tournament.
The preparation matches Brazil had before the tournament showed that they’re ready to begin the World Cup, but their first round matchup against North Korea on June 15 is a tough one. I always consider the opposing team and how they stand, but I think Brazil is prepared to win. The first match is always one of the most important, because Brazil can get those first three points and go into the next match with that advantage.
Playing against Portugal is always difficult, but I hope Brazil can win. Portugal plays the same style of ‘futbol’ that Brazil plays, and they have good players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco so I think that will be the toughest match. Not to say that the Brazilian team doesn’t have talent; I know some guys on the team like Luis Fabiano, Julio Baptista and Kaka.
I can tell you a few things about Kaka, because we have been friends for years. Kaka is a good guy, an experienced player who brings a lot of to the national team. I think that Kaka, along with his teammates, will help Brazil win its sixth championship this year.
Aside from working as a team, Brazil needs to enter each match thinking about that specific game, not about future matches, like getting to the semifinal or final. Just like here in the MLS, Brazil needs to come into each match playing their game and focus on scoring the goals they need in order to move on to the next round.
Like many others, I can’t wait for the FIFA World Cup to begin tomorrow. It’s the event that every Brazilian gets excited about because soccer runs in our blood. I will be watching the matches in my house along with my family and friends having a good Brazilian BBQ. Wherever you are, I hope you get to enjoy the World Cup as well. Cheers!
Brazil needs to enter each match thinking about that specific game"
Saturday, May 15, 2010
While much of the talk in the American soccer community this week has been the United States’ 30-man Provisional World Cup roster, Bob Bradley wasn’t the only head coach who named a squad for South Africa this week.
A number of international teams have announced their rosters and, as per usual, there are a number of controversies over who has been included and who has been left out.
MLSSoccer.com checked in with the players of Chivas USA after their training session on Wednesday morning to get their take on some of the news and notes from this week’s various roster announcements.
• Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, a good friend of Real Madrid’s Kaká, on his native Brazil, who has left superstars Pato, Ronaldinho, Diego, Adriano, and Marcelo off the roster:
“I’m really happy with Brazil’s 23-man roster. It’s sad that players like Pato and Diego have not been chosen, but Brazil has a lot of talented players and I think that the team that Dunga has selected is very strong and is very capable of taking home the cup.”
“I’m always talking with Kaká, and he is very excited to start the World Cup. He knows it will be very difficult, because the teams this year are all strong, but he’s happy with the selection and is eagerly waiting for the start of the tournament.”
• Striker Justin Braun on Italy, who have left veterans Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero off the squad, but have included young American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi:
“Totti and Del Piero are both great players and have established themselves – to me, leaving them home is kind of surprising. Rossi is a great player. He’s up-and-coming for Italy and I think that’s what they’re looking for.”
• Defender Mariano Trujillo on France, who have chosen to leave Manchester City midfielder and 1998 World Champion Patrick Viera and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema at home:
“France has strong group of players. Yes, Benzema and Viera are important, but they have enough talent with the players that they have to get all the way to the final. They’re a very strong team with players who have been really successful at their club teams.”
• Defender Jonathan Bornstein on upcoming US opponent England, who have chosen to make David Beckham a coach for the World Cup.
“It’s obviously unfortunate for David that he got injured, but I think he brings with him a knowledge of the game and a knowledge of World Cups. He’s already played in three of them. For him to be part of a fourth I think is huge for their team. I’m sure he will help them out in any way he can.”
Friday, April 30, 2010
Marcelo Saragosa and Maicon Santos hail Dunga's Seleção
Brazil is back on top of the world.
After trading the number one spot in the FIFA World Rankings with Spain over the course of the last year and a half, Brazil has moved back to the top of the list as of Wednesday morning. It’s a move that Chivas USA players Marcelo Saragosa and Maicon Santos, both native Brazilians, are pleased to see.
“I’m really happy that Brazil has returned to the number one spot,” said Saragosa, a native of São Paulo. “I’m really proud.”
FIFA releases a comprehensive ranking of every team in the world each month (see it here) based on results from international matches played across the globe. Spain has dominated the chart of late, taking the number one spot in 16 of the last 21 months.
But a 2-0 victory over Ireland on February 3 of this year, coupled with injury woes for Spain, has pushed Brazil back into the top spot, much to the delight of Chivas USA’s Brazilians.
“For me, it’s more than just being Brazilian,” Saragosa said. “I have a number of friends who play for the National Team. I’m really happy for them.”
Saragosa grew up playing in the youth system of fabled club São Paulo FC and is a lifelong friend of Brazilian National Team phenom Kaká. He insists that the culture of soccer in Brazil is what makes the country such a powerhouse.
“Brazilians are just born with soccer in their blood,” he said. “You’re playing when you’re only a year old. The country just has a real passion for the sport and you can see that in the talent of the players.”
Brazil is currently coached by national team legend Dunga. The team has enjoyed success under the former player, boasting a 37-5-11 record since his appointment in 2006. After a difficult start for Dunga, the team was crowned champions of the Copa América in 2007 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. In the latter tournament they overcame a 2-0 deficit to the USA in the final.
“They have a coach who keeps the players grounded,” Saragosa said. “This is the difference that Dunga makes. There will be lots of expectations for the team to become champions at the World Cup, but Dunga will help keep the players grounded and take the tournament step by step.”
Brazil has been drawn into Group G for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, alongside North Korea, the Ivory Coast, and their former colonizers Portugal. The Seleção will have their work cut out for them if they are to become champions for a record sixth time in South Africa.
“Brazil will be confident, but there is still a lot of work to be done before they can be crowned champions,” said Maicon Santos, a native of Paracambi. “The World Cup is never easy. There are a lot of good teams. It’s an incredibly difficult tournament.”
Brazil kicks off its World Cup campaign against North Korea on June 15.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Marcelo Saragosa #5 of Chivas USA and Sinisa Ubiparipovich #8 of the New York Red Bulls vie for the ball near midfield during their MLS match at the Home Depot Center on April 10, 2010 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated the Red Bulls 2-0.
Marcelo Saragosa #5 of Chivas USA takes a shot on goal under pressure from Salou Ibrahim #29 of the New York Red Bulls in the second half during their MLS match at the Home Depot Center on April 10, 2010 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated the Red Bulls 2-0.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
CARSON, CA - APRIL 01: Marcelo Saragosa #5 of Chivas USA looks to play the ball off his chest in the first half during their MLS match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on April 1, 2010 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 2-0.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Marcelo Saragosa...Chivas USA won two training matches on Saturday by a combined score of 8-1. (Miranda/Chivas)
CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA earned a pair of victories over San Diego Boca FC of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in two shortened scrimmage matches played today at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Playing 60 minute games, the Red-and-White won by 5-1 and 3-0 scores, with Mariano Trujillo earning four assists in the first match. The games were the last for Chivas USA before traveling to Phoenix, Arizona next week, where the team will face MLS competition for the first time in 2010.
In the first game, San Diego Boca took the lead in minute 12 against the run of play, when a quick counter attack caught the Red-and-White off guard. Chivas struck back quickly, however, tying the game when defender Carlos Borja headed in a Trujillo corner kick in the 22nd minute. A nearly identical goal gave Chivas USA the lead five minutes later, with another Trujillo corner headed in by Marcelo Saragosa. Jorge Flores scored the next goal after a great passing sequence by Ante Jazic and Blair Gavin. Trujillo earned his third and fourth assists on goals by Carey Talley and Maykel Galindo.
Despite fielding a new group of 11 players in the second game, Chivas USA picked up where it left off, taking a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Chukwudi Chijindu intercepted a pass at the top of the box, dribbled in alone on the keeper, and scored to give the Red-and-White the lead. Artur Aghasyan scored the next goal, with assists to Chris Ross and Chijindu, and the day's scoring was completed in minute 49 when trialist Armando Ochoa finished a Kevin Tangney cross.
The Red-and-White have Sunday off before traveling to Phoenix on Monday, where the team will do a week of training. While in Arizona, Chivas USA will face the Kansas City Wizards on Wednesday and the Columbus Crew on Saturday, the first MLS competition of the preseason for the Red-and-White. The regular season for Chivas USA kicks off on Friday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center. Season seats are on sale starting at just $10 per game; for more information, or to purchase tickets, visit cdchivasusa.com or call 1-877-CHIVAS-1.
Chivas USA 5:1 San Diego Boca
Preseason Scrimmage (60 Minutes)
February 20, 2010 - The Home Depot Center, Field 6
SDB - 12'
CHV - Carlos Borja (Mariano Trujillo) 22'
CHV - Marcelo Saragosa (Trujillo) 27
CHV - Jorge Flores (Ante Jazic, Blair Gavin) 36'
CHV - Carey Talley (Trujillo) 38'
CHV - Maykel Galindo (Trujillo) 58'
Chivas USA lineup - Dan Kennedy, Ante Jazic, Carlos Borja, Emilio Viades, Carey Talley, Jorge Flores, Marcelo Saragosa, Blair Gavin, Mariano Trujillo, Justin Braun, Maykel Galindo
Chivas USA 3:0 San Diego Boca
Preseason Scrimmage (60 Minutes)
February 20, 2010 - The Home Depot Center, Field 6
CHV - Chukwudi Chijindu (unassisted) 12'
CHV - Artur Aghasyan (Chris Ross, Chijindu) 25'
CHV - Armando Ochoa (Kevin Tangney) 49'
Chivas USA lineup - Jon Conway (Jose Manuel Miranda, 31), Kevin Tangney, Claudio Suárez, Yamith Cuesta, Miguel Sanchez, Amaury Nuñez (Jesus Ochoa 31), Ben Zemanski, Chris Ross, Cesar Zamora, Chukwudi Chijindu (Armando Ochoa 45), Artur Aghasyan
Friday, February 12, 2010
Saragosa filling void in Chivas midfield Brazilian veteran emerging as leader in unit following offseason departures
Marcelo Saragosa figures to be a key cog in the Chivas USA midfield in 2010. (J. Miranda/Getty)
CARSON, Calif. -- As Chivas USA continue their 2010 preseason preparations, a few of the club's older players have stepped up to help lead the group of newcomers and trialists. One of those older players is Marcelo Saragosa, who has become a leader in the center of the Red-and-White midfield over the course of the last few weeks.
Saragosa joined Chivas USA last July after a trade with FC Dallas, making eight appearances for the Red-and-White last year. Now, with a gaping hole left in the midfield by the departure of Paulo Nagamura to Mexican Primera Division side Tigres UANL and the retirement of Jesse Marsch, Saragosa looks to be next in line to lead Chivas USA's midfield.
"We're very lucky to have guys like Marcelo," said Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez. "We're going to support him when it comes to being the experienced player. I think [players like him] understand their responsibility, but they have to be the first ones to lead by example."
Getting over the losses of Nagamura and Marsch won't be easy. Chivas USA started 29 of 30 games last year with one or the other, or both, in the center midfield position. But if anyone can ease the transition, it's Saragosa, who boasts six years of MLS experience.
"I'm alone in the midfield right now, but it's a great opportunity for me to work hard with Martín and earn my place," said Saragosa. "I'm going to pursue whatever Martín wants me to do with great heart and a lot of passion. Whether attacking or defending, I'll be ready to do what is asked of me."
Returning to join Saragosa in the midfield are Sacha Kljestan, Michael Lahoud and Jesús Padilla, each of whom had a hand in Chivas USA's playoff run last season.
"I've worked a lot with Sacha, and played a few games with Lahoud," said Saragosa. "They're both great players and easy to play with. It's easy for us all to adapt to each other."
Saragosa, who was born in Campo Grande, Brazil, is enjoying the new system at Chivas USA and feels that the team is on a good track.
"Martín has a different mentality than Preki did," said Saragosa. "He has a mentality that's similar to the Brazilian style -- lots of heart, lots of passion, and the whole team working together like a family. It's changed a lot around here."
At the start of 2010, Saragosa is focused on fitting into the midfield and doing his best to lead by example, but he has other objectives for the upcoming season as well. Saragosa won an MLS championship with the LA Galaxy in 2005 and would like to repeat that feat.
"I always have personal goals," he said. "But the big one is to help my team win the championship."
Jeffrey King is a contributor to MLSnet.com.