CARSON, Calif. — Before Chivas USA stepped on the pitch against Toronto FC at the Home Depot Center last Saturday, their chances of making a fifth consecutive postseason appearances had already been dashed.
A loss to in-stadium rivals the LA Galaxy a week before in the SuperClásico had closed the door on the Goats’ push for a playoff spot.
And yet, the Red-and-White squad that took the pitch this past weekend showed no signs of having given up on the season. Quite the opposite, in fact. The team bristled with energy and pushed hard until the very end – scoring two goals in the final three minutes of play.
They may not have been playing for a spot in the playoffs, but they were playing for something.
“We asked the guys to come out and play hard for the shirt, for our fans and for their pride,” Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez said. “They responded with a victory. I’m proud of the response that we got from the guys.”
The 3-0 victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Red-and-White that stretched back into mid-September. All three goals came in the second half after a first-45 that was marked by inconsistent play in the attack by the Goats.
“We needed to come out in the second half and play to win,” Vásquez said. “We were at home. This win is really important for the morale and the confidence of the group.”
Vásquez insists that his squad will play its final three matches — against Seattle, San Jose and Chicago — at full strength. The team will look to build a strong foundation for next season and to continue to improve.
“We have come out with the same approach,” Vásquez said. “It doesn’t matter if [goals] come in the 95th minute, as long as they come. First minute or 95th minute – we’ll take them.”