CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA know that they can win on the road – their three straight victories away from the Home Depot Center attest to that. But for the Rojiblancos to continue to earn respect as a serious contender, they must learn how to keep it up, especially given their struggles at home.
On Saturday, Chivas will look for their fourth straight away win against the Colorado Rapids (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online). They've come within touching distance of a regular-season club record five consecutive road victories, which came across the 2008 and 2009 seasons. However, while they've had their success on the road, the mood in the Rojiblancos locker room is that something is still missing.
“We know because of our home results, we’re not fooling anybody,” defender Heath Pearce told MLSsoccer.com of the team's 0-4-0 home record. “We’ve had some luck on our side on the road and we know that we haven’t put in that dominating performance.”
Whichever results comes this weekend, it'll be without the services of forward Alejandro Moreno, who has been ruled out due to concussion symptoms. The good news is the Rojiblancos will welcome back midfielder Mike Lahoud, who traveled with the club to Colorado and is expected to be on the gameday roster. Juan Pablo Ángel is also inching toward his first start for Chivas since the club’s home opener in March after training with the first team throughout the week.
“We haven’t put out that convincing performance so we’re still searching for that rhythm and luckily we’ve been able to get results on the road, which has given us an extra bit of confidence,” Pearce added. “Hopefully we’ll be able to go to Colorado with that confidence and add a little bit of better soccer to it and hopefully get a convincing result.”
If Chivas are to earn their fourth straight road win, they will have to slow down a motivated Rapids side eager to avert a fourth straight defeat. Under first-year head coach Oscar Pareja, Colorado's attack has been revitalized due to the play of rookie Tony Cascio, veteran Omar Cummings and a dynamic midfield, but the final touch in the attacking third has been lacking.
The return of forward Conor Casey, who is expected to see some time on the field after a 10-month recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon, could rectify that.
“They certainly were aggressive going forward last week against LA and a lot of times they were close,” Chivas head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com. “We just have to be aware of Cummings' speed, Cascio has done extremely well as a young player, then their midfield is extremely fluid and they’re playing well.”
But regardless of the Rapids' strengths, Fraser's road warriors are focused inward for their trip to the Mile High City.
“Obviously, we’ve done well on the road so far this year, but we don’t count that for anything,” said Pearce. “We take it one game at a time and hopefully we can go out there and dictate our style of play and get three points.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.