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Steady United Win 2-0
Jose Vergara promised that Chivas USA would bring an exciting, attacking style of soccer. On Saturday, neither DC United or the expansion Mexican side could deliver on that statement. The result was a bland clash between a side looking to create an identity and another side possibly looking ahead.

It's no secret that Chivas USA have rough times ahead. Head Coach Peter Nowak knew it and felt confident starting an undrafted rookie in central defense. Enter Bobby Boswell. The young man had started just one game in the preseason, but played well enough to earn a place in the starting lineup on opening day. Nowak's faith was proven correct as they kept the clean sheet and gathered an early three points.

The demands of beginning the MLS season and being successful in the Champions Cup are heavy on Nowak's mind right now. He must juggle a lineup that needs time to gel and yet keep them fresh for taking on the monumental task of advancing past UNAM de Pumas in CONCACAF's big tournament.

As for the game on Saturday, the lone goal of the first half was pieced together on a wonderful counter attack, the only real threat of the first half for either side. Jaime Moreno dribbled downfield laying off for Brian Carroll on his left. Carroll took it inside the box and crossed for Josh Gros who clinically put the ball away over a sprawling keeper. This play was clearly the difference between the MLS Cup Champions and an expansion club. DC put it together and finished, Chivas didn't even know where to begin.

DC secured the three points when Christian Gomez scrapped his way into the box and floated a beauty over the Chivas keeper. Santino Quaranta drove the ball deep into the Chivas defense where Gomez did the rest and spoiled Chivas debut. He danced a little jig with Jaime Moreno following the goal (stick to your day jobs fellas) and DC would cruise to an opening day victory.

Boswell looked solid but unspectacular as he was seldom called on to make a play in defense. Mike Petke did the same and Brandon Prideaux further cemented a place in the starting XI instead of the apathetic David Stokes. No one on DC looked above average as they may have been taking it easy to save up for Pumas.

While the three points will please the DC faithful, this victory to me looked like a dull ax splitting a twig. Peter Nowak knows that a repeat performance will not bring desired results against Pumas in a mid-week Champions Cup match. The overall fitness of DC will be tested over the course of the next week. A healthy Bryan Namoff will be critical for securing United's defense Wednesday night. Steve Guppy had a few dangerous crosses for DC but could only last about two-thirds of the game. It's a difficult situation to handle and the expansion teams thinning the talent pool in MLS doesn't help. However, Peter Nowak and Co. appear to be up to the challenge, "We don't defend our championship, we win another one."
April 04, 2005 Mark Metzger



Email: sean@mlsfan.net

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Scores
Sat., Apr. 14th
6:00PM ET
Salt Lake 0
Columbus 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
New England 0
Toronto 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
DC United 0
Kansas City Wizards 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
8:30PM ET
Houston 0
Chivas USA 0

Sat., Apr. 15th
3:00PM ET
New York 0
Dallas 0

Sun., Apr. 15th
8:00PM ET
Colorado 0
Chicago 0

Standings
East
Team Name Pts
Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

West
Team Name Pts
Dallas 4
Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

Top Ten Scorers
Top 10 Scorers
Player Name Gls
Ruiz 2
Cooper 2
Cunningham 2
Kljestan 1
Brown 1
Emilio 1
H. Gomez 1
Findley 1
Razov 1
Pause 1