MLS Clubs Crash & Burn In Preliminary Round

ThomasSenior Writer ISeptember 2, 2008

Chivas USA and the New England Revolution both had a chance to redeem their poor starts in the Champions League today. Unfortunately, both clubs failed to do so. 

New England Revolution - Joe Public FC (0:4, 1-6 on aggregate)

The New England Revolution had the first chance to redeem themselves.  They hosted Joe Public FC (Trinidad & Tobago) at the Gillette Stadium. JPFC had a 6-1 aggregate lead after defeating the Revs last week, 2-1. 

The Trinidadian football club came out with all guns blazing as they repeatedly beat down the Rev's defense.  In the 17th minute, the visitors got their first of four goals. Gregory Richardson, who reportedly has gained interest from the Columbus Crew, received a well-placed pass, slipped through the Rev's back line, and fired a shot into the far side of the net. 

New England needed a minimum of two goals to force extra time, Wells Thompson and Brandon Manzonelli both created a corner kick opportunity, but both attempts missed.

Shalrie Joseph should have tied the game after 36 minutes when Jay Heaps played a ball into his run, Joseph walked in along the byeline, but dragged his shot wide from a tight angle.

As the clock came to halftime, Joe Public was able to add to the score as Richardson scored once again, managing to get past the defensive line and beat goalkeeper Matt Reis. 

If the Rev-faithful had some inch of hope going into the second half, it disappeared almost instantly.  JPFC had some great combination play as Roen Nelson managed to slide a shot past Matt Reis three minutes into the second half.

The Revs improved a bit after their opponent's third goal, but it was too little, too late.

Gregory Richardson completed his hat trick when Silan Spann created some space for him and he finished to the far post with a thumping strike. But the night ended in misery for Heaps after he was issued his second yellow card in the 90th minute to cap a performance the Revs hope to forget.

Joe Public will begin its Group C schedule away on September 17th against Impact de Montreal.

Chivas USA - Tauro FC (1:1, 1:3 on aggregate)

Chivas had a chance to advance as they took on Tauro FC (Panama) at home in the Home Depot Center, and did slightly better than their MLS counterparts, the NE Revs. 

In the 12th minute, Chivas striker Justin Braun saw a shot cleared off the line, an early warning of Chivas’s attacking intentions.  

Eight minutes later, Roberto Nurse ran clear of the defense and was hauled down as he rounded Tauro goalkeeper Willington Dominguez. The referee pointed to the spot immediately, but failed to give Dominguez a deserved red card. Sacha Klejstan’s spotkick was denied by the Tauro goalkeeper, as he dove to his right to save the strike.

But the miss energized Chivas. In the 36th minute, Atiba Harris saw a glancing header ricochet off the bar, and in the 42nd minute, the Goats finally broke through. Again it was Nurse in the center of the action, a cross from the left side by Jonathon Bornstein was knocked down by Kljestan, and Nurse executed a perfect swivel shot that crashed into the back of the net.

In the second half, the Trinidadian football club came out determined to turn the game around. Things looked bright for the visitors as Jonathan Bornstein picked up his second yellow card and was forced to be sent off.  Chivas's good fortune had come to an end.  They desperately needed a second goal to force extra time and they were down to ten men.

Just three minutes after Chivas was reduced to ten men, Jean Alberto Mclean gave Chivas a scare with a 25-yard effort that sizzled just over the bar. Then, Edwin Aguilar hit a hard shot that forced Dan Kennedy into his first save on the night. 

Eventually, Tauro's aggression paid off as Luis Moreno got past defender Jim Curtain and placed a shot into the net.  The score was now 1-1, with Tauro in control.

Several good chances fell to Chivas late.

The first one to substitute Jorge Flores, who smashed a left-footed shot aimed at the lower corner that Dominguez stretched well to save. Second, when Pancho Mendoza had a clear path to goal but his shot was deflected wide just in time. Then, just before the final whistle, Alecko Eskandarian had a breakaway saved by Dominguez, the final embarrassment in the Goat’s premiere CCL adventure.

Tauro now moves on to the group stage, joining Group D with Mexican side Santos Laguna and Guatemalan clausura champions Municipal.

Other Results From Preliminary Round:

Montreal Impact - Real Esteli (0:0, 1:0 on aggregate)

Future Preliminary Round Matches:

Sept. 3 -

Puerto Rico Islanders - LD Alajuelense

Hankook Verdes vs Cruz Azul

CD Marathon vs AD Isidro Metapan

Sept. 4 -

San Francisco FC vs Deportivo Jalapa

Pumas UNAM vs Harbour View FC


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