CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA may be ending the season without a playoff appearance, but the Rojiblancos still believe that they have much to play for when they take on the Seattle Sounders on in their season finale Saturday night (10:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
Even after a dismal two weeks that has seen Chivas eliminated from playoff contention and defeated by their archrival LA Galaxy, they want to have reason to celebrate before the season's end.
“We still have things to prove,” said head coach Robin Fraser. “Right up to the last minute of the last game, we're going to feel like we're going to have something to prove. We've been good at times, but also we've been not good enough at times and we know that we need to get better.”
Chivas will be battling a Sounders squad that has already locked up the second-best record in MLS and the second seed in the Western Conference. While the Sounders may be one of the most feared teams in the league, the Goats gave them a fight in their last meeting, a scoreless draw at CenturyLink Field in August.
At home, the Rojiblancos have historically given the Sounders even more trouble, accruing a 2-0-1 record against Seattle at the Home Depot Center.
Seattle may be looking ahead to the playoffs, but Chivas' focus lies in 2012. Following a season that was full of disappointment, they hope to use their lessons learned in 2011 to move forward next season.
With the club already having an eye to the future, the mood in Rojiblancos camp is that everyone on the team is playing for their spot on the squad.
“We're professionals, everyone is playing for their jobs, at the end, they're going to hold everyone accountable and that's it,” defender Ante Jazic told MLSsoccer.com. “We need to perform each game so certain guys have to step up and play the season out.”
Regardless of who stays and who goes next year, the Rojiblancos understand that this will be their chance to end the campaign on a good note.
“It's a long offseason,” said midfielder Nick LaBrocca. “We need to end the season on somewhat of a high so we're not beating ourselves up for the next three or four months.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.