PORTLAND, Ore. – For the second straight preseason match, Chivas USA faced a top-flight club. And for the second straight time, the Rojiblancos came away disappointed with their performance.
Forward Juan Pablo Ángel said it’s high time his club puts things together after Chivas fell 2-0 to Swedish club AIK in the opening game of the Portland Tournament on Monday at JELD-WEN Field.
“We’re disappointed with the result,” Ángel said in a subdued locker room after the game. “There were times where we thought we played well, and there were times when we where we weren’t as good as we should have been. We need to try to get the next 10, 12 days in order to get ready for league, which is coming very rapidly.”
While Monday’s game against the Swedish first-division club may not have featured the barrage of goals from last Wednesday’s 5-2 defeat against Club Tijuana, it was the failure of Chivas’ retooled attack that had Ángel reeling most. The Goats are trying to bring new additions in Ecuadorian international Oswaldo Minda and fellow countryman Miller Bolaños up to speed in time for the team’s March 11 opener against Houston at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser hopes the two additions will be the needed compliment to Ángel, who tallied seven goals in nine appearances after being traded to Chivas from the LA Galaxy at midseason last year.
“There are a number of new faces in here,” Ángel said. “It takes a little time to adjust to the life in here, but also to the style of play we have here. We still have a lot of work to be done. I don’t think today was too bad, but there’s still a lot of things we need to address.”
The veteran striker said he feels it’s just a matter of getting on the same page with his new teammates.
A sign that Chivas may be close to realizing their potential came in the 11th minute, when Ángel chipped in an easy goal on a nice feed from Bolaños. Unfortunately for them, it was whistled offside.
In the 27th minute, Bolaños shot down the right side to free himself up for an open shot, but it sailed high.
And three minutes later, Ángel fed Alejandro Moreno for a quality shot that was stymied by AIK 'keeper Ivan Tuina.
“Hopefully this week we’ll get to correct those things, and when the season starts we’ll be up and running,” Ángel said. “It was a good exercise for us to see how we played and how we adjusted – and I think we adjusted well – but at the end of the day, it’s about getting results.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.