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For Chivas USA, tie with Seattle is beside the point

Chivas has gotten at least one point in its past four matches, including a 1-1 tie with Seattle on Saturday. That's progress after losing four in a row.

May 27, 2012|By Kevin Baxter
  • Chivas' Alejandro Moreno and Seattle's Brad Evans vie for the ball during the teams' 1-1 tie Saturday at the Home Depot Center.
Chivas' Alejandro Moreno and Seattle's Brad Evans vie for the… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser will gladly take his turnarounds wherever he can get them. So although some may look at Saturday's 1-1 tie with the Seattle Sounders as a disappointment, Fraser said he was happy to at least escape with a point.

After all, when you're coaching a team that has lost 38 times in less than 21/2 seasons, a tie can look pretty good.

"It is what it is. At the end of the day, we got a point," Fraser said. "We certainly could have had three points out of it. Look at it however you want. We got a point."

Got a point for the fourth game in a row, in fact. Not bad for a team that had lost four straight before that.

"I think the group is starting to jell together," Fraser said.

The game's only two goals came four minutes apart early in the second half with Chivas' Juan Agudelo scoring on a header 12 minutes after the intermission and Seattle's David Estrada tying the score in the 61st minute on a right-footed shot from the center of the 18-yard box.

Agudelo's goal, his first since joining Chivas from the New York Red Bulls 10 days ago, was set up by a perfectly placed pass from defender James Riley, who found some open space on the right side and then bent a cross around Sounders' defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Agudelo racing up the center of the box.

The goal was just the third for Chivas in seven games at the Home Depot Center, where the team had led for just 20 minutes all season. And the advantage didn't last long this time either before Alex Caskey — who had come off the bench just seconds earlier — slipped a pass into the box for Estrada, who eluded Chivas defender John Valencia to score his fifth goal of the season.

Seattle had a couple of chances to go ahead after that, but a Montero header off an Estrada cross missed to the left from a tough angle in the 63rd minute. And in the 90th minute, an Andy Rose shot at an open net was stopped by defender Danny Califf.

Chivas had the better chances in a physical and scoreless first half, one in which Seattle's fouls (five) outnumbered both teams' shots combined (two). That's not saying much, though, since Chivas forced Seattle keeper Bryan Meredith to make just one save — that coming on a Valencia try in the 28th minute.

Agudelo also got off a shot but went wide to the left.

Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy had an even easier first half since he wasn't called on to make his first save until nine minutes into the second half when he smothered a low, bouncing right-footed shot from Estrada at the near post.

Less than two minutes later, Estrada ended a 40-yard sprint up the left wing by sending a centering pass to Fredy Montero, whose right-footed shot missed wide right.

Chivas was without forward Juan Pablo Angel, who scored the only goal in last week's tie with New York but did not dress Saturday.

Fraser said his absence had more to do with Chivas' schedule — the Seattle game was the team's third in eight days — than with the concussion symptoms that caused the 36-year-old to miss five of the team's first six games.

"Last week was kind of tough," Fraser said. "We wanted to insert some fresh bodies."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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