Frustration mounts for Chivas USA

CARSON, Calif. - As Chivas USA's losses continue to pile up, frustration continues to mount.

Saturday's 3-1 loss to arch-rival Los Angeles Galaxy was yet another tough pill to swallow. So far, the club has surrendered 11 goals and has held a lead for just a fraction of its existence.

The Chivas USA players were not taking the loss lightly.

"It's time for the coach to start pointing some fingers," defender Orlando Perez said. "Something's got to happen. I don't know if it's not having the right players on the field or not having the right formation or what but something's got to change."

Though the club has just been together for about three months, players were hesitant to use their expansion status as an excuse.

"They say there's a learning process and a learning curve," Chivas USA forward Matt Taylor said. "It only goes so far. It's about time we step up and start winning."

The club has already faced much adversity in one month of MLS action. For a variety of reasons, Chivas USA coach Thomas Rongen has used a different starting lineup in each match. Saturday, it was newcomer Alfonso Loera's turn to start as rookie Aaron Lopez also returned to the starting lineup.

Still, despite all the hard times the club has faced, there is still a sense of confidence surrounding the club.

"We really felt that regardless of the fact that we are an expansion team that we could compete in this league," Rongen said. "We're shooting ourselves in the foot a lot of times in games. We've given up a lot of goals on set pieces. We've given up some soft goals. We still can't create enough. But for us to use an expansion as an excuse, I don't think that's something we are going to do."

The talent is there, Rongen said. It's just a matter of putting everything together.

"We feel that we have some capable players in this locker room to be able to compete at this level," Rongen said. "After four games, we obviously haven't done that. We need to turn the corner very quickly."

Set pieces again killed Chivas USA. The Galaxy opened the scoring after Chivas USA failed to clear a corner kick. Hector Cuadros did well to clear Chris Albright's header off the line but Cobi Jones pounced on the loose ball and buried a blast into the back of the net.

Jovan Kirovski put the game out of reach with a well-struck 20-yard free kick.

"We've got to somehow keep faith in each other and keep our heads up and come out next game and try to get our first win," Perez said.

Chivas USA did well to keep the game close. In the 48th minute Isaac Romo scored his first MLS goal after deflecting a free kick from Ramon Ramirez. After Lopez was sent off three minutes later, Chivas USA maintained its composure and tried in vein to get back in the game.

"We showed some grit and some pride you expect teams to have in a clasico like this," Rongen said. "We just didn't have enough in the tank."

Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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