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Chivas USA's Kennedy earns shutout in draw with FC Dallas

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The Canadian Press
7/4/2013 11:59:02 PM
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FRISCO, Texas -- Dan Kennedy earned his first shutout of the season helping Chivas USA to a scoreless draw with FC Dallas on Thursday night.

Chivas (3-10-4) got its second straight draw while extended its winless streak to 12 in the opener of a three-game road trip.

"I think they are starting to play more as a team and less as individuals," Chivas coach Jose Luis Real said through a translator.

Real took over at the end of May for Jose Luis Sanchez Sola. Although he is still searching for his first win as Chivas' coachr, the team is showing improvement,

The Goats tend to show up more against Dallas than against other opponents, and Thursday night was no different. Dallas has not defeated Chivas in six straight matches.

"I don't know what it is," Real said. "I think it's motivation. Obviously the players come in the game with the motivation (to take down a top team)."

Dallas (8-3-7) is winless in its last five matches and sits two points behind Real Salt Lake atop the Western Conference.

There were plenty of chances for both teams, though neither could take advantage. Chivas outshot Dallas 17-6, holding a 6-1 advantage on shots on goal.

"I think we're trying to get in the right path," Chivas midfielder Jorge Villafana said. "The thing is looking better each game. Last game we had the opportunity to get three points, we let ourselves tie it, and this time I think we did a good job coming here and getting a point in a difficult place (against) a good team."

Dallas sent its first 10 shots off target, missing the goal by inches on several occasions. Chivas kept rifling shots that were blocked by Dallas defenders, including four shots in one sequence in the 54th minute.

Jackson nearly put Dallas on the board in the 85th minute when he headed a cross just wide of the post. One minute later, Kennedy made a toe save on Blas Perez's header.

Both teams squandered stoppage-time free-kick opportunities to saddle them with a point each.

Dallas had three strong scoring opportunities in the opening 10 minutes of the game, including a strong showing on early set pieces.

Defender Stephen Keel, making his first start for Dallas, just missed a header six minutes in on a corner, which would have been the 30-year-old's first career MLS goal. Four minutes later, Michel's left-footed free kick from about 30 yards didn't quite curl back far enough, caroming off the far post.

From there, Chivas' backline tightened in the middle as the visitors starting pressing up and limiting the Dallas chances to ones created on the wings.

"The beginning of the first half, we were playing really well and we kind of faded in the middle of the game," Dallas defender Matt Hedges said, "and we were giving the ball away, I think, too much and not keeping enough possession. It started to be kind of a track meet back and forth."

Chivas found its footing in the final 15 minutes of the first half. Eric Avila, who played for Dallas from 2008-11, had a ground shot from about 25 yards stopped by a diving Raul Fernandez in the 30th minute.

Avila's attempt triggered a string of shots to end the half, including Jose Correa's about-face shot from six yards out that just went wide when he found the ball off a neat back heel from Walter Vilchez following a corner.

Dan Kennedy (Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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