CARSON, Calif. – For the second straight week, Chivas USA fell 1-0 at home, but left the match feeling that they could have done so much better.
Once again, an inability to capitalize on opportunities and the concession of a late set-piece goal proved the difference on Saturday night as the Goats fell to the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps for their second straight loss of the fledgling 2012 season. Against Vancouver – as was the case against the Houston Dynamo a week prior – Chivas controlled long stretches of the match, but once more unable to turn that possession into goals.
“This one could be summed up pretty quickly in that I thought we weren’t aggressive enough to take advantage of space that was provided to us,” Chivas USA manager Robin Fraser told reporters after his club’s defeat. “Vancouver’s game plan was clear, they were going to absorb pressure and look to counterattack. Given the time and space that we had, I just didn’t feel that we were aggressive enough in finding ways to go to goal and ultimately making ourselves goal dangerous.”
Despite falling 1-0, Chivas USA showed well in flashes, the two most dangerous being Ryan Smith’s shot from distance in the 21st minute and rookie Casey Townsend’s curling effort 10 minutes later that both forced saves from Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
But the lack of aggression that Fraser spoke of was most apparent than in the 53rd minute when winger Laurent Courtois marched up field to the edge of the Whitecaps box leading to a dangerous sequence for the Goats. Three different Chivas USA attackers touched the ball in the dangerous positions, but none was able to test Whitecaps backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton before he bundled up the ball.
When questioned about the play, Fraser was glib in his assessment of his club’s play in the final third.
“It’s something that we need to address and we need to obviously look at. To score goals, we need to really want to score goals,” Fraser said. “I just thought that there were too many times tonight where we had opportunities where with an aggressive move, we might have been able to create a dangerous opportunity and we weren’t aggressive enough.”
In order to correct their scoring woes – and ultimately earn their first victory of the 2012 season – the club’s leading scorer last season believes the Goats simply need time to develop as a cohesive unit.
“We all need to get on the same page and be a little bit more dangerous – everybody collectively,” midfielder Nick LaBrocca said. “I think that will come with a little extra sharpness and communication especially on the training field.”