for this game

Chivas takes over first place in West with draw

Oct 18, 2009 - 5:59 AM By LUIS BUENO STATS MLS Writer

CARSON, Calif. (STATS) - Chivas USA is atop the West for now, but some recent poor play against inferior teams may not keep them there for long.

Chivas USA moved into sole possession of the conference, tying the San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 on Saturday night on Justin Braun's goal in the 66th minute.

Chivas (13-9-6) has 45 points, one more than playoff-bound Los Angeles, Houston and expansion Seattle. The Galaxy and Dynamo will meet Sunday in Houston.

However, Chivas coach Preki Radosavljevic said the point earned against the 'Quakes may not be enough to propel to the team to its second conference title in three seasons.

"There are no easy games, even the teams that are out of the playoffs," he said. "For whatever reason, the game against New York and the game against San Jose (Saturday) might haunt us in the standings."

Chivas failed to beat the last-place teams in each conference at home in recent weeks. Preki's club tied East bottom-dwellers New York 1-1 at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 26.

Meanwhile, San Jose has continued its strong road play. The Earthquakes (7-13-9) are 1-0-3 in their last four games away from home.

"It's a good point for us. We well deserved a point," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "It's good to come to a place like this where its difficult to get a result and score two goals away from home is very good.

"It's shown the growth in our team - we went to DC and won, went to Toronto and got a result, went to Colorado and tied so were getting some good results on the road."

Chivas opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Sacha Kljestan lobbed a ball over San Jose's defense, which had pushed up toward the middle of the field. Maykel Galindo ran into the penalty area and fired a 12-yard shot past goalkeeper Andrew Weber for his fourth goal.

San Jose tied it in the 21st minute. Shea Salinas crossed the ball from the right toward the far post and Brandon McDonald beat Zach Thornton for his first goal.

Preki said Chivas didn't show much patience in the first half.

"We're trying to push the tempo a little bit but ... we went for the kill way too many times in the first half instead of making sure the ball is moving, that we are moving, being a little bit patient in front of the box," he said. "When you do that, opportunities will come."

San Jose took the lead in the 58th minute. Chris Leitch sent a free kick from the right side of the field toward the 6-yard box, and Ryan Johnson's header sailed high over Thornton's reach.

The goal was Johnson's fourth in his last seven games and 11th overall.

Weber stopped Braun late and Maicon Santos in the final 20 minutes to help preserve the draw.

"Towards the end they pushed numbers forward," said Weber, who made his second career start. "They were just coming, coming and coming. We managed it pretty well."