Silver lining harder to find for Fraser after latest Chivas loss
There may be no description for what rock bottom feels like — and with the way things have been going for Chivas USA, the club may have yet arrived there.
However, the feeling after Wednesday’s 4-0 loss — Chivas' seventh defeat in a row — to the Vancouver Whitecaps was dejection, disappointment and despair.
Gloom shrouds the club and it's getting increasingly difficult for head coach Robin Fraser to find some sort of silver lining, even if a fortuitous bounce here or there could have turned some of those losses into ties or even wins.
“It’s very possible that that could have happened, but it feels like seven straight losses,” Fraser told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “While we’ve done some things well, we’ve done enough things wrong at critical times to lose games.”
Full Highlights: VAN 4, CHV 0
The latest critical mistake was a turnover early in the match that, combined with some soft marking, became a counterattack that Gerson Koffie finished off to give the host Whitecaps a 1-0 lead with just 11 minutes gone.
“To that point, we’d had the entire game,” Fraser said. “We’d had all the possession and we were getting stalled entering their attacking third, but we were still having all the possession. On that particular play, we turned the ball over and didn’t show enough commitment to get back behind the ball.”
The wind was not entirely gone from Chivas’ sails, but the battle became much more difficult. That issue has been a bit of a recurring theme of late, as Chivas have been unable to overcome much of anything.
Multiply that feeling times seven, and the result is the longest losing streak in club history.
“We’ve simply not been good enough,” Fraser said. “We’ve done some things well, but you just can’t escape the fact that we’ve made too many critical mistakes at too many times, and on the attacking end of the field, we haven’t been productive enough.”
As it did Wednesday, making an early mistake and paying for it in the back caused a ripple effect. Torn apart a bit, the defense put more pressure on the attack to produce chances and put at least one away. Of course, the problem was, and has been, compounded with Chivas’ moribund attack.
The loss in Vancouver was the fifth consecutive outing where the Goats have failed to score a single goal. Their scoreless streak has now reached 532 minutes.
“If you’re not productive on the attacking end, then the defenders feel the pressure of having to make plays, and [if] the defenders don’t make plays, then the forwards feel the pressure of having to score,” Fraser said. “Either way, it’s a bad cycle to get into.”
If there is anything positive the club has done, it’s with their possession. Chivas have been able to maintain control of the ball at stretches during this losing streak, but even that is only a minor point to build on. Ultimately, the club’s self-inflicted wounds must cease in order for progress to be made.
“We moved the ball well in the middle part of the field, but the goals are at the end,” Fraser said. “We can’t keep making mistakes that lead to goals and certainly we needed to be better in the attacking end of the field.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.