CARSON, Calif. – In a matter of minutes, the best and the worst of Chivas USA were on full display during the Rojiblancos’ 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders.
Juan Agudelo scored his first goal of the season, and first with the Chivas franchise since being traded from the New York Red Bulls last Thursday. It was a pure striker’s goal, born of instincts and developed after a series of passes freed up James Riley to whip in a cross down the right flank.
Four minutes later it was canceled out by a David Estrada strike after John Alexander Valencia whiffed on a clearance.
So it goes for the Rojiblancos, who extended their unbeaten run to four games heading into the international break.
"It was good to get the goal personally, but I don't like to think of the personal stuff, I just thought that my goal helped the team and was able to take pressure off the defense," Agudelo said. "I definitely feel that every single day in training and in the games I am getting more comfortable. I'm getting an understanding of how my teammates like to play."
Throughout the match Chivas dominated possession, ultimately taking a 61.6 percent to 38.4 percent edge. But they still were outshot 11-5, signifying that there’s plenty of work yet to be done in the final third.
There’s work to be done on the backline as well, where Valencia wore the goat horns on the day. The miscue was a difficult one to handle for the Colombian, who was subbed out just six minutes later for Rauwshan McKenzie.
Valencia kicked a water bottle into the stands as he walked to the locker room after being pulled. Following the match, head coach Robin Fraser said that the club “were already thinking about making that change” prior to Estrada’s goal and would “discuss internally” Valencia’s reaction.
But although the Colombian took the miscue hard, his centerback partner Danny Califf admitted that it would be the team’s job to pick him back up.
“Everyone makes mistakes,” said Califf. “He’s got to try and put it past him and move beyond. It’s not an issue with us. Obviously were all disappointed in the result but you can’t fault someone who did his best and just made a mistake at the wrong time. It happens to everybody.”
Chivas will now have two weekends off due to the international calendar, which is something that Califf believes can only help the team as they look to grow in the summer months.
“We’re on a four-game unbeaten run now and that’s something we can build upon and hold our hat on,” said Califf. “It’s nice to have that run and then go into a break. It’s not like we’re entering the break on a real big downer or anything like that.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV vs SEA