A Whole Lot of Question Marks for Chivas USA
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.
Could the answer to the scoring problem be new Colombian forward Jose Erik Correa? Correa, 19, discussed his goals of scoring many goals and getting a Colombian National team call up before even playing a single minute for the Goats. Fans do wonder if we have another Victor Estupinan on our hands (you know, that guy who last season said he would score 30+ goals and played MAYBE 5 professional minutes?). He’s another question mark.
I am all for new options, as the team can take whatever offensive options they can get at this point. However, I think it’s safe to say that the fans are beginning to get a bit frustrated with not only the lack of decent results, but also the promise of new players who end up not contributing the way they should be.
The future does not get any better. The Goats play their next 4 games against formidable opponents: away to San Jose this weekend, LA Galaxy at home in the first Superclasico of the season, away to New York Red Bulls in a midweek clash, followed by hosting the Seattle Sounders just 3 days later.
While the Galaxy may be undergoing many of the same problems we are this season, they do sit above us in the standings by 1 point. And, of course, the Superclasico always brings about a tense match. Both San Jose and Seattle are both playing well this season and have strong attacking components that will surely test this team. Additionally, while New York may currently be without Thierry Henry, they are still a team that should not be overlooked. We tend to have a decent record away at Red Bull Stadium, but with the game sandwiched between two home games in the same 10-day span, there is a lot of doubt as to how the Rojiblancos will perform.
They have been strong away (minus that performance at Colorado where all hell broke loose after the 82nd minute), so maybe they will turn things around for their games against San Jose and New York. The Superclasico is a huge question mark: both teams have been extremely underwhelming to their fans, and have not had good home records this season (good being an understatement for the Goats as they have yet to win at home). However, Superclasicos are always filled with fans of both teams and you can cut through the tension in the Home Depot Center with a knife. Pressure from the stands is what Chivas USA players have reportedly wanted more of this season, so maybe it will be good for them.
I leave this open-ended, as I’m not really sure what happens now and how the team will move forward. Every week the players, coaches, and fans have said that they need to improve and get better, yet nothing ever comes of that. I know I sound extremely negative; I still cheer for them, support them, and am waiting for the time they do well. However, it’s a bit frustrating right now, when there is promise but no positive result. All us fans can do is hold on and stay along for the ride.