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Chivas USA's Kevin Guppy plans to be ready if needed

With Dan Kennedy out for the season because of a biceps injury and Zach Thornton nursing an ankle injury, the MLS League Pool goalkeeper could receive playing time this season.

August 15, 2010|By DeAntae Prince, Los Angeles Times

Kevin Guppy has spent the majority of his time as an MLS League Pool goalkeeper with Chivas USA.

In coming weeks, he may get his first shot in the net for the team. Because of Dan Kennedy's torn biceps, Chivas USA is down to one goalkeeper. Zach Thornton was set to start at Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders but still nursed an ankle injury.

With Thornton still recovering and Kennedy out for the season, odds are Guppy will see some playing time during the remainder of the MLS season.

He plans on being prepared when that day comes.

"I feel pretty comfortable with them," Guppy said of his Chivas teammates. "And I feel confident that if something does happen I'll be able to get the job done."

Guppy, a Fullerton native, is in his second season in the league. The former Big West Conference co-goalkeeper of the year was 8-7-4 as a senior at Cal State Northridge and started every game of his college career.

For now, Guppy backs up Thornton, the 2009 MLS goalkeeper of the year, who started the first 12 games of the season for Chivas before suffering a sprained ankle.

Kennedy replaced Thornton this season after a knee injury knocked him out of contention for the starting spot in 2009. Thornton said Kennedy performed well when he was injury-free.

"I was happy for him after what he went through last year with his knee injury," Thornton said. "It's very unfortunate that he went down."

Thornton and Guppy stood side by side completing drills in Thursday's practice, and both looked quick to the ball at the Home Depot Center's practice facilities.

Despite what his quick hands and the circumstances suggest, Guppy said he was unsure about his chances of receiving playing time.

"I don't know the possibilities of me getting in," Guppy said. "I just have to be ready to go in if my number is called. If something happens and Zach unfortunately goes down, I've just got to be ready."

Chivas USA Coach Martin Vasquez said he would not sacrifice Thornton's health if he isn't fully prepared.

"We have to make sure he's sharp and he's ready," Vasquez said of Thornton. "Because if Kevin is 100% and Zach is not, we won't take a chance."

deantae.prince@latimes.com

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