After a successful first day with the Montreal Impact our month-long push to add professional soccer players to our Allies List, we continue with Chivas USA.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is currently the only Chivas player on our list. And as the face welcoming LGBT fans to the team’s pride night a few years ago he was one of the first players we included. Montreal increased from one to four yesterday. Can Chivas USA do the same?
Players can tweet at our @gay4soccer handle or use the #soccerally hashtag for inclusion on the list. You can also check out this post for our new way to ask players from any team, any league to join in person. And fans can join now as well using this web form.
But now onto the Chivas.
Haven’t Chivas USA fans had a hard enough time with attendance issues and losing games? Why toss a boring jersey on the pile of embarrassments?
They’re blue. It has faint stripes that you can see if you’re standing a foot away from a player. There’s not much to say about them beyond that.
There’s a cool second crest that’s a nod to Los Angeles, but it’s on the back, and it’s just a reminder of what could be if the team rebranded and became more California-centric. Now that would be awesome: a team with the California bear as a major part of its branding.
It’s almost as if Major League Soccer purposely had teams schedule their jersey launches so that the week would be book-ended with the worst new offerings out there.
It’s been about a month and a half since I’ve written a Chivas USA update here. So first things first, sorry about that. And hello. After a long stint of traveling in August, I thought I’d be back with a nice long post for you guys, talking about the team was finally coming together from the odd but interesting trade of Blair Gavin for Shalrie Joseph that happened at the end of July. And then August actually happened. September has turned into a continuation of the downward spiral of the most goals they’ve allowed in forever. Every time I sat down to write out an update or an opinion post, I came up with nothing cohesive. I’d always wondered how writers came up with great posts when their teams were going through a bad place, and couldn’t have considered it more the past few weeks. Part of it also comes from my inability to watch the games, and to actually see where the team is failing. The rest just comes from me throwing in the towel. Yes, I’ve admitted it early here. But with only 2 draws from 6 games, is there really any way up from here?
Probably not. I don’t really want to go into the logistics of these losses, except to say that it seems our offensive problems have trickled into the defense. Considering the only minutes I could stomach watching was a portion of the home 2-6 loss against Seattle a few weeks ago. And with only 8 games left of the regular season, all against teams that are making serious playoff pushes, I’m in the camp of doubt here. There really won’t be any way this team will make it into the playoffs. Sure, they are 9 points off a playoff spot and have the games to do it but with the way they’ve been playing? Doubtful.
Wednesday’s home win against the Portland Timbers ended a poor run of form for Chivas USA and brought promise to the team heading into Saturday’s Superclasico matchup against the LA Galaxy. However, an extremely poor first half set the stage for the 4-1 loss to the cross town rivals.
The Goats came out on Wednesday with a bit of a different lineup – Ryan Smith was inserted for Blair Gavin, with Alejandro Moreno as the lone striker. John Valencia also started in the defense for Raushawn McKenzie, though this seemed to be more of a rest thing with the Superclasico coming up. The team got off to a promising start, scoring an early goal in the 15th minute. Ryan Smith charged forward and passed the ball along the front of goal to Miller Bolaños who tapped it in. Of course I picked that moment to go to the bathroom at the Home Depot Center and missed it happen live. Nothing else really happened to speak of, and the match ended 1-0. I felt that it was a promising performance leading up to Saturday’s game as they showed some offensive sparks that had previously been missing.
Chivas USA’s promising U.S. Open Cup campaign came to a staggering end yesterday in their 4-1 defeat away to the Seattle Sounders. This match comes after a horrid home draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps over the weekend. The Goats were playing for a spot in the USOC final, something the team has never done before in franchise history. With a good run into the semi, the team had a good chance to vie for the title. However, their unfortunate summer form got the better of them. Not to discredit the play of the Sounders, Chivas USA was unable to find a good rhythm until late in the second half after Seattle had already scored 2 goals.
Both teams started off slow, but the Sounders were able to find their footing and gain possession after about 20 minutes. An Eddie Johnson goal put the Sounders up in the 31st minute after a defensive lapse from the Chivas USA backline. The goal was followed up with a couple more attempts from the Sounders and some terrific saves, yet again, from Dan Kennedy. Chivas USA had ZERO shots on goal in the first half.
Before the international break, Chivas USA made headlines more times in two weeks than they probably had in a couple of seasons. It started with their 1-0 defeat of cross-town rivals LA Galaxy. The Goats had not beaten the Galaxy in 14 matchups. I’m not sure that many people would even acknowledge it as a rivalry due to its lopsided nature. However, Chivas USA showed a lot of promise in this season leading up to the matchup, while the Galaxy was sputtering. The Goats were able to convert a PK in the second half and go away with a 1-0 win at home. This type of matchup does wonders for confidence, and helped the team get an important away point at New York Red Bulls just 4 days later, and another point against the Seattle Sounders just after that. I won’t get into the details of their continued tendency to give up goals so soon after taking a lead, as I would just be beating on a dead horse.
Today we backtrack a bit, because through yesterday’s trades, Chivas USA dropped from three allies on the list to only one. As one of the most out front players as part of the team’s Equality Night last year, we’ve considered goalkeeper Dan Kennedy an ally since the list started:
So with Pearce off to New York and Lahoud off to Philadelphia, who will join Kennedy? Help us recruit the players below and ask each to become a #soccerally
If you’ve been trying to follow my posts about Chivas USA on here this season, and are disappointed by the lack of updates, well, two things: 1) I apologize and 2) Looking at the results, can you blame me?
While Chivas USA got off to a decent start, their current form seems to have brought fans to an all too familiar place. Three straight losses has put the team in second to last place in the Western Conference with 9 points in 9 games played. They still have not won at home.
Small silver lining: they finally scored their first goal at home this season last weekend in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire. Another interesting stat: the goal was off a penalty, the first one given to the team since August 2010. However, with a last-minute goal by Marco Pappa, many Chivas USA fans left the match with the “different game, same story” attitude. To be quite honest, it’s the same attitude that has been plaguing my mind for the past month.
What exactly is wrong? It is difficult to pinpoint. The team tends to be strong in defense. Relatively of course, considering the losses they’ve undergone. Most goals scored against them have not been until the waning moments of the game. So would that lead to lack of focus? Sure. The two paired together brings about the horrid defensive lapses that have led to all of the losses, a majority of which were games that ended 1-0. We could also discuss play at the other end. The team builds up well, yet continuously struggles in finishing. The play seems to tighten in the finishing third and the team loses their creativity that built up to the scoring opportunities.
Chivas USA hit two records this weekend. First, with a 1-0 win against Toronto FC, the team went 3-0 in road matches, which equals their total road wins from the entire 2011 season.
A 31st minute header from Ecuadorian midfielder Oswaldo Minda was the difference, which is also striking considering their poor set piece performance last season. The team continued to press, and saw great chances from Ben Zemanski and Ryan Smith. One of the major players in this match for both sides was the wind: it seemed that whichever team played against the wind sat back more, and had very little control of the ball. Chivas USA controlled the game for the entire first half; yet they found themselves on the defensive for basically the entire second half.
The defense may not have always been composed, but they got the job done. From Heath Pearce’s stunning body block clearance on the line to Dan Kennedy’s repeated magical saves, they got another three points on the road. While the team is 3-0 on the road, they have yet to secure a win at home. They face the Philadelphia Union this weekend at the Home Depot Center, and hopefully, they can finally find their bearings and get three points. With this win, they sit at fifth in the Western conference.
As the MLS season gets underway this weekend, fans everywhere are getting excited to get back into the swing of watching their favorite team battle it out for a spot in the playoffs. Looking at Chivas USA’s preseason record, I’m not sure that I am one of those people. With a 2-7-1 record and a horrid 5-0 loss in the final game to the San Jose Earthquakes just a week before kickoff, it’s pretty hard to really be excited for this season. The final week before the season had been pretty quiet, as it seems the coaching staff was keen to turn this team around in the short time before the season starts in the opener against 2011 MLS Cup Finalists Houston Dynamo.