Chivas USA hope heading east to face New England will revive postseason prospects
CARSON, Calif. -- Though another week brought yet another roster change for last-place Chivas USA, who earlier this week shipped leading assist man Mauro Rosales to the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for Nigel Reo-Coker, the objective has stayed the same.
They have 11 games remaining with nine points to make up, so there is time.
“In the Western Conference, we are trying to keep ourselves right there, we’re trying to push,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters this week before the deal was announced. “With two games, we could be in. That’s the key. Every game counts and every point counts.”
The Goats, who are caught in the second-worst scoring drought the league has seen this season, hit the road for the fifth time in seven weeks, but the passenger list is different as they prepare to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday night. Carlos Bocanegra (concussion) and Marvin Chavez (hip flexor strain) are out, according to the club's injury report.
In 12 appearances this year, Reo-Coker had no goals and two assists – six fewer than Rosales had in 21 games, leaving the team to find a new set-up man for the remaining games.
Leading scorer Erick “Cubo” Torres, whose 14 goals rank third in the league, spoke to reporters Friday regarding his call-up to the Mexican national team for the upcoming friendlies, but he was not made available to comment on Rosales’ departure.
Still, the draw Chivas USA earned last week at home against Vancouver at least ignited some inspiration.
“Hopefully we’re hungry to do a little more,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters this week.
In New England, the Goats meet a team that has found new life after snapping an eight-game losing streak late last month. The Revolution sit only a point back of the New York Red Bulls for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, even though Chivas USA could match their 27 points with a victory Saturday night (7:30 pm ET, MLS Live)
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“After the rough streak, the tie [last week] was a positive,” forward Leandro Barrera told the club’s official website. “Facing this team is going to be difficult on their pitch, but we have the objective to win and get the three points.
“We did a great job the other day and, if we continue like that, we’ll get some good results.”
Chivas USA have been fairly successful on their cross-country trips this year. They played the New York Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw in late March and battled the Carolina RailHawks for the same score line in the US Open Cup. Their latest trip, though, was a sour one as they dropped a 3-1 decision at D.C. United last month.
“We’ve had success on the road in the Eastern Conference, so there’s no reason why we can’t go to New England and get something out of that game,” Kennedy said.