CARSON, Calif. – Eager to put last week’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Colorado Rapids behind them, Chivas USA are set to return to the field, this time in search of their first win at home this season.
With aspirations of earning their first victory at The Home Depot Center in 2012, the Rojiblancos take on the Chicago Fire on Friday (11 pm ET, ESPN Deportes). They face an uphill climb, however, as the club has dropped its first four home games by a score of 1-0.
Although they’ve struggled at the HDC this season, midfielder Nick LaBrocca believes that the short time between games will help the Rojiblancos focus on the task at hand.
“The shorter time in between games – especially after a loss – the better,” LaBrocca told MLSsoccer.com. “You have to put those games behind you because, at the end of the day, those games don’t matter anymore. The only one that matters is the next one. It’s a big game for us; we need to do a lot of first at home. One being score and obviously win. We need to win this game."
To get their first victory at home, Chivas must defeat a very athletic Fire side that has not lost to the Goats since June 19, 2008, accruing five wins and two draws in that time. Despite their record against Chivas, the Fire will be without head coach Frank Klopas and defender Jalil Anibaba, who were suspended for their conduct during Chicago’s 2-1 defeat to Seattle last weekend.
While they may not have their coach or defender, Chicago will have the services of forward Dominic Oduro, the self-proclaimed fastest player in the league, who has notched three goals and one assist this season. Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser admitted that his club must be wary of Chicago’s athleticism.
“They have a lot of talented players, they have some very athletic players and they turn half chances into very good chances just through athleticism and speed so they’re a good team,” said Fraser.
Against Chicago, the Rojiblancos will not only be able to call upon veterans Alejandro Moreno and Pete Vagenas, who were removed from the injury list earlier in the week but also newcomer José Erik Correa, who may make is MLS debut on Friday. Correa trained with the first team at times during his first full week of training with the club and drew rave reviews for his poise and presence towards goal.
Regardless of who plays on the field, the club’s focus is getting three points at home for the first time this season. While Chivas have shown flashes of success in all four of their home losses, Fraser believes that the time is now for the Rojiblancos to tip the scales in their favor.
“Being on the verge does not matter, because if you’re not there, then you’re not there,” said Fraser. “We need to execute in and around the opponents goal and we need to execute in front of our goal to prevent goals. You could be one step away from being there, but you might as well be a mile away. It’s just a matter of us accepting that and dealing with the fact that we have to execute. ”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.