CARSON, Calif. – The 2012 season has been one to forget for Chivas USA.
Problems arose from every corner of the squad, condemning Chivas to life as a last-place squad in the Western Conference.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” forward Alejandro Moreno said. “When it rains this hard, there’s no umbrella that can cover all of us. We all get wet. From top to bottom, I think we’re all quite responsible for what’s gone on and it would be foolish to try to turn our backs on it.”
Moreno is one of several players on the squad who find themselves in a similar position: a veteran who has rotated in and out of the starting lineup, unable to help stem the disappointment.
Perhaps Moreno has not had many opportunities to make a difference in matches. More often than not, he has not been in the starting lineup (16 starts) and on other occasions, he hasn't dressed at all. But when he’s had the chance to make his mark, as with everyone else on the roster, it hasn’t been enough.
“Might as well face the music and know that it has been a failure on our parts to get results with a consistency that is required to compete in this league week in and week out,” he said.
Moreno noted how the team lacked consistency and continuity this season, which made for a disjointed squad. When Chivas USA were able to piece together a solid string of defensive efforts, the attack failed to produce. Then, when the team began scoring goals with some regularity, the defense fell apart.
“When you have that sort of dynamic within the team, it’s a bigger issue than just one or two players,” Moreno said. “It’s a global issue that affects us all and makes it very difficult to produce the sorts of performances we have to produce in order to get out of a funk.”
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Chivas never did get out of their funk, which began in earnest in August.
After closing out July with a 1-0 win at Portland on July 28, they went on a slide, going 0-2-2 before losing seven consecutive games. They will enter Sunday’s season finale at FC Dallas on a miserable 0-10-3 skid.
Just how and why the season spiraled out of control so quickly is unclear, but symptoms arise in each and every outing.
“When we have found ourselves in critical moments in the game, we have made the wrong decision most of the time,” Moreno said. “When you do that, you’re not going to get the results you need to compete in this league. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what is wrong when so many things have gone wrong.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at email@example.com.