CARSON, Calif. – “Dangerous” and “dynamic” have not often been words used to describe Chivas USA in 2012. But the club finally pieced together such a night. At least on the attacking end.
Defensively, though, it was an all-time worst showing for los Rojiblancos.
Chivas wasted what several club members referred to as their best attacking performance of 2012 with a disastrous defensive one as they fell, 6-2, to Seattle on Saturday at The Home Depot Center.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chivas USA 2, Seattle 6
“I’m at a loss for words,” Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told MLSsoccer.com. “It makes me sick, to be honest with you.”
The six goals marked a new low for Chivas. The club had allowed five goals in a game four previous times, but never before had an opponent scored six goals against them. Fredy Montero, Brad Evans and Sammy Ochoa accounted for five of the Sounders’ goals while Ante Jazic contributed an own goal in stoppage time.
“It’s the best attacking night we’ve had certainly all year,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. “Any time you give up six goals at home, it certainly is not what you’re looking for. I keep referencing the attacking side and how good it was, but defensively we were extremely poor.”
Fraser made five changes to the starting lineup that took the field in Colorado a week ago. Some, such as the insertion of Tristan Bowen, worked well. Others, such as replacing Danny Califf with Bobby Burling, did not. Burling was unable to stay with Montero on any of the Colombian’s three goals. Fraser said Califf has been “working through things” all season and pointed to Chivas’ upcoming schedule — three games in eight days — as reasons for making the move.
“With how they executed their chances, I don’t know if it would have mattered who was in there,” Kennedy said.
It did matter who was there up top. Bowen, along with fellow youngsters Juan Agudelo, Miller Bolanos, and Casey Townsend, led Chivas out of the gate and desperately tried to get an early goal. Even after Seattle’s Evans opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Chivas did not relent and were unlucky not to score early on.
“For the first 10-15 minutes we were all over them, we created a lot of chances, we had some balls that were whipped into the box from the wide players,” Chivas midfielder Shalrie Joseph told MLSsoccer.com. “Defensively we were just a little bit exposed. A ball that I should have got a foot on just went in and Brad had a good finish.”
From there, it got worse. Montero scored twice to make it 3-0 after 34 minutes. Chivas did their best to get back into it. Agudelo converted a penalty kick in the 37th minute, and Bolanos buried a long-range shot in the 64th minute to pull within one goal.
“We’ve got some good guys in the locker room who don’t give up, who like to fight and keep fighting. It showed but we’ve got to do better as a team defensively,” Joseph said. “We can’t allow them to score so many goals and then try to come from a hole where it’s 2-0 and then 3-2.”
Ultimately, the hole was too deep for the Rojiblancos to come out of. Seattle scored three more goals, including Jazic’s stoppage-time own goal, to put the match away.
But for Chivas, the offense provided a glimmer of optimism.
“Although the score doesn’t necessarily reflect how we played, we showed a lot of character in terms of fighting,” Bowen said. “It’s tough to lose 6-2 and say that we fought and we did better, but the reality of the situation is that I feel we did. The locker room could be a little bit more somber at this moment, but every guy is leaving here saying we could have won the game.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.