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Sounders Held To A Draw By New-Look Chivas USA

Chivas USA continued an impressive run of form in holding the Seattle Sounders to a scrappy 1-1 draw at the Home Depot Center. The Goats looked the better team for long stretches of the first half, and it took a goal from Juan Agudelo to bring the Sounders to life; just four minutes later, David Estrada put the game back on level terms after getting onto the end of a dangerous low cross from Alex Caskey. Seattle continued to apply steady pressure the rest of the way but Chivas would have none of it, and it was the Goats threatening to take three points at the end with a few desperate moments of defending from the Sounders preserving the draw.

Chivas' high-pressure, possession-based game threw the Sounders for a loop in the first half, and though Chivas didn't offer much in the way of a threat at goal Seattle wasn't able to test Dan Kennedy until the dying moments of the first half. Things opened up right from the start in the second half, and it was Chivas USA that grabbed the opener; former Sounder James Riley found himself in acres of space coming down the right flank on the counter, and Juan Agudelo got to the end of the fullback's inch-perfect cross to head past keeper Bryan Meredith.

That caused the Sounders to kick things up a notch, and they stayed in a higher gear well after Estrada's equalizer. But the Chivas defense (as well as Kennedy) showed why they're leading the team's revival, and with several key Sounders attacking players tiring Chivas bossed the final few minutes of the game. While a draw may not seem like the greatest of results against a team three spots and nine points lower than the Sounders, the Goats have shown flashes of brilliance at times this season and have begun to show significant signs of improvement and cohesiveness as of late. Given the players Seattle was missing due to injury and suspension, as well as an altogether strong performance from the home side, a point is a pretty decent haul from this game.

The focus of the next three weeks now shifts to the US Open Cup. The Atlanta Silverbacks come to town on Wednesday and a potential date with the Portland Timbers is on the docket the following week. The Sounders won't see league action until June 16th when they travel to Montreal, giving them an opportunity to do a bit of recuperating after a brutal month of May. While the Sounders form at the moment is far from red-hot, they remain well within striking distance of Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference and are clearly in a much better place than they were at this time last season. It's been a frustrating run of late, but considering that this may be the most difficult stretch of games the Sounders will face all season, things could very easily be a whole lot worse.