Davide Chiumiento against Chivas USA (Scott P. Price / Grande Sports World)
Scott P. Price

Whitecaps FC fall to late Chivas USA goal in Arizona

In their fourth training match of preseason, Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered a late 1-0 defeat to Major League Soccer side Chivas USA in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Friday.

A last-minute strike by substitute Jesús Padilla gave the Southern California outfit victory in this first-ever meeting between Whitecaps FC and Chivas USA. It proved to be an unfortunate ending to this contest for the Blue and White, as the match looked seemingly destined for a goalless draw at the Grande Sports World complex.

"I thought we played quite well," head coach Teitur Thordarson told whitecapsfc.com. "It's very nice to see that our defensive shape is good right now. Chivas USA hardly created a goal chance in the game until the end, so overall, I was happy with that aspect of our performance. Offensively, I don't think you could have expected any more. We created at least four or five chances, where we were one-on-one or two-on-one with the goalkeeper, and we didn't manage to score."

Fresh off recent injury concerns, centre back Jay DeMerit and midfielder John Thorrington started Friday's game for Vancouver, while Robin Fraser's Chivas USA started the match in a 4-1-4-1 formation. The first half proved to a relatively uneventful affair, with Chivas USA's Alan Gordon and Vancouver's Atiba Harris earning early bookings.

Chivas USA created chances through Gordon on 18 minutes and Mexican midfielder Mariano Trujillo on the half-hour mark, while 'Caps midfielder Terry Dunfield saw his free kick deflect away for a corner on 41 minutes. Just before halftime, veteran MLS striker Alejandro Moreno forced a good save from Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly, as both sides went to the break tied at 0-0.

Thordarson made two changes for the start of the second half, with one of those substitutes soon in on the action, as Jeb Brovsky conceded a penalty to Chivas USA on 47 minutes. Trujillo stepped up to take the spot kick, but his effort went wide left of the target.

It was from that point that Whitecaps FC started to threaten the Chivas USA goal. On 54 minutes, veteran MLS goalkeeper Zach Thornton made an excellent save from youngster Russell Teibert after Davide Chiumiento had dummied a fine through ball from Harris.

Substitute Nizar Khalfan then entered the match for Teibert, and created chances of his own. The Tanzanian international was off-target with one effort before hitting the Chivas USA wall with a free kick at the midway point of the half. Khalfan then brought another save from substitute goalkeeper Sergio Arias after taking a feed from fellow substitute Long Tan.

At the other end, Ecuadorian striker Victor Estupiñan created a couple of chances for Chivas USA before Vancouver trialist Camilo da Silva Sanvezzo had two fine opportunities off a Shea Salinas cross. Arias saved his first attempt on goal, while his second chance went wide of the target.

The Brazilian had one more chance before Chivas USA won the match through Padilla on 89 minutes. The Mexican striker beat the 'Caps offside trap before finishing past Nolly for a late 1-0 lead.

Tan had an immediate chance to equalize for Vancouver, but Arias was able to preserve the clean sheet, as Chivas USA edged this inaugural contest between these two Western Conference foes.

Whitecaps FC will return to action on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. PT, as they take on the United States U-18 national team at the Westside Complex in Avondale, Arizona. That is followed by a closed-door training match versus MLS Western Conference rivals Los Angeles Galaxy at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. PT.

Scoring summary:
89' - CHV - Jesús Padilla (Michael Umana)

15' - CHV - Alan Gordon
26' - VAN - Atiba Harris
53' - CHV - Ben Zemanski
67' - CHV - Jimmy Conrad
73' - VAN - Alain Rochat

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Jay Nolly; 4.Alain Rochat, 6.Jay DeMerit (40.Ryan O'Leary 45'), 14.Greg Janicki, 25.Jonathan Leathers; 12.Russell Teibert (16.Nizar Khalfan 65'), 11.John Thorrington (32.Jeb Brovsky 45'), 7.Terry Dunfield, 22.Shea Salinas (8.Wes Knight 81'); 20.Davide Chiumiento (36.Camilo da Silva Sanvezzo 60'), 9.Atiba Harris (23.Long Tan 54')

Chivas USA
Zach Thornton (Sergio Arias 68'), Zarek Valentin (Andrew Boyens 68'), Ante Jazic (Jorge Flores 46'), Jimmy Conrad (Jimmy Asprilla 68'), Heath Pearce (Michael Umaña 31'), Michael Lahoud (Tristan Bowen 68'), Blair Gavin (Gerson Mayén 38'), Francisco Mendoza (Ben Zemanski 68'), Mariano Trujillo (Guillermo Torres 68'), Alan Gordon (Jesús Padilla 68'), Alejandro Moreno (Victor Estupiñan 68')