Trying to find positives in a defeat has been difficult, but Chivas USA have had to do quite a bit of that in recent weeks.
After yet another loss, this one a gut-wrenching 2-1 setback to Seattle, staying positive was ultimately as insurmountable as holding off the Sounders' late charge.
“There’s really no silver lining at the moment,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “The fact of the matter is we’re in a position where we need results. We put ourselves in a good spot to get results and to not get them is very difficult.”
On Saturday, the Goats were minutes away from at least one point, with all three there for the taking. But Eddie Johnson ensured that his side would take all the points when he buried a header in the 89th minute, despite goalkeeper Dan Kennedy getting a piece of his effort.
Instead of walking away with a point and perhaps a sliver of confidence, the club now will start yet another week trying to figure out how to fix what went so wrong on the weekend.
“It’s a disappointing thing. We fought hard and were certainly in a position to get a point out of it,” Fraser said. “We needed three, but we didn’t play as well as we needed to. As a result we put ourselves under pressure a lot.”
Chivas had piled up a couple games in hand, giving the club a chance to make up ground, but saw one slip through their hands at CenturyLink Field. With no points to show for their efforts, this additional game at least did the club no good.
Through Saturday, which featured Seattle and Chivas USA as the lone MLS regular-season match, Los Rojiblancos could slip into the Western Conference cellar.
Making matters worse, the match didn’t start out as dire as previous disappointments. Chivas scored first, when Nick LaBrocca beat Matt Gspurning just eight minutes into the match. The goal was just part of the team’s solid opening to the match.
OPTA Chalkboard: Sounders dominate the ball, snatch late goal
“The first 20-25 minutes were decent,” Fraser said. “We defended well, won the ball in some good areas, moved the ball forward and created opportunities and created a goal. Shortly thereafter, we stopped connecting and as a result we ended up defending for a long stretch at the end of the first half.”
Part of that long stretch featured the equalizer, as Eddie Johnson found space inside the area to head in a free kick in the 28th minute.
Even though Dan Kennedy made some strong saves, including stopping Steve Zakuani about 10 minutes into the second half, Seattle capitalized on a Chivas turnover and wound up putting the ball in the back of the net late to heap more disappointment on hard-luck Chivas.
“We put ourselves in a bad spot and committed a bad turnover in a time of the game, in a part of the field where we certainly didn’t need to,” Fraser said. “Obviously, they’re a very good attacking team. You give them opportunities, they’re going to score goals.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.