Misfiring Chivas USA vow to battle against scoring hex
CARSON, Calif. – A running comparison in MLS lately has centered around two Western Conference entities: Chivas USA and San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski.
The prolific Earthquakes striker has scored 22 goals while piecing together a strong case for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. The Rojiblancos, meanwhile, have scored 21.
The statistic between one player and an entire club is jarring and reveals how ineffective Chivas’ attack has truly been. But the embarrassing statistics don’t end there, as the league’s worst attack has plenty more than Wondo vs. Chivas USA working against it.
• Chivas will carry a 442-minute scoreless streak into Wednesday’s match at Vancouver (10 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
• Chivas scored once in the six games they played in September.
• In their last 593 minutes, the Goats have scored once. That’s one goal in nearly 10 hours.
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“It doesn’t feel impossible,” Chivas midfielder Peter Vagenas said, “but it doesn’t seem to be going our way in front of goal.”
When pressed for potential reasons why the club cannot score more, players and coaches often name two: poor execution and just plain bad luck.
Opponents have luck of their own, but Chivas have apparently hoarded all of the bad variety. A play from the team’s latest outing – a 4-0 loss to Real Salt Lake – typified that.
Up 2-0, RSL pressed Chivas in the second half. Dan Kennedy made a sprawling save but the ball rolled out to Álvaro Saborío, who turned and chipped the ball over Kennedy, hitting the underside of the crossbar and going across the goal line.
“Had that been us it would have hit the post and bounced over,” Vagenas said. “That’s sort of the feeling.”
Vagenas was not alone.
“That’s certainly what I felt,” defender Danny Califf said. “There was no other place where it could have gone .... In my experience so far with Chivas USA, those certainly would hit the post or go out or just barely miss over or something like that.”
Bad luck or not, Chivas are putting in the work. And while it has not resulted in much of anything lately, the club’s work and fight will remain.
“Sometimes the simple things become harder when you’re in a streak like this. The only thing you can do is to put your head down and continue to fight and bring your quality,” Vagenas said. “That being said, there are a lot of prideful people on this team and you know we’re going to fight.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.