Chelis keeps faith with Chivas USA's 3-man backline, says recent slump is "all on me"
CARSON, Calif. – Despite a five-match winless streak that has dropped Chivas USA to the bottom of the Western Conference standings, it appears head coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá is primed to stick by his tactical system, including the three-man backline that has been porous in recent weeks.
When asked Wednesday if defensive or offensive adjustments were necessary after surrendering seven goals in the previous two matches, Chelís said neither.
“Ninety percent, it’s a lack of awareness on my behalf,” Chelís told reporters. “The other 10 percent is injuries, misunderstandings and everything else. In reality, it’s my responsibility and I haven’t been able to maintain it. That’s the reality.
"What can I tell you? That it’s due to the injury to Juan [Agudelo]? That this or that guy left? That it was the missed penalties or bad decisions by the referees? No, at the end it’s all on me. At the start, it’s me.”
The Goats might get some much-needed help defensively against Real Salt Lake on Sunday with the expected return of Wálter Vílchez, who suffered left knee and ankle injuries in Week 2.
Vílchez has been able to analyze the play of the backline from afar and believes there is no need for schematic changes.
“I have played in backlines of three, four and five men,” Vílchez told MLSsoccer.com. “All of them are effective depending on what players you have and what their capacities are. We have the type of players to utilize that three-man back line.
“We’ve had some interesting matches when it comes to defense. Some of the goals we’ve allowed have been mental mistakes more than errors due to the formation or system.”
Chivas USA have been outscored 11-2 in their last five matches and hold a goal differential of minus-six goals on the season. They got off to a fast start by winning three of their first five matches.
“The start we had allows us to believe in ourselves,” Vílchez said. “We did some very good things early in the season. Now we have to work and correct our mistakes.”
Blair Angulo covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com