Wash, rinse, repeat.
It’s a cycle and a routine Chivas USA are all too familiar with, and unfortunately for the club the whole process is unbelievably bitter.
The Goats yielded yet another goal at the death, losing yet another match in the dying minutes on Wednesday when Columbus scored in the 89th minute to take all three points with a 1-0 victory at Crew Stadium.
“There’s a lot of frustration,” Chivas assistant coach Greg Vanney told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “The guys put in an excellent effort. We’re 89th minute and though we need wins, we don’t need losses.”
Chivas dropped a result in their last road game when Seattle scored in the 89th minute for a 2-1 win. It was another strong start and weak finish, a pattern that’s been impossible to shake.
“In the first half especially we were having an excellent performance,” Vanney said. “We were combining well, we were creating a lot of problems. We were getting about the field with a lot of success, moving the ball around and getting in dangerous spots. We had a great start, a very solid first half.”
With no goal to build on, though, Columbus were able to maintain their footing and gained confidence in the process. The Goats, meanwhile, were unable to hold the ball for long stretches after the intermission, pressing as they typically do in search of the elusive goal.
“At times we tried to hit the final pass too soon when we could have sustained some possession on their side of the field a little bit longer and forced them to defend a little bit longer stretches,” Vanney said. “Sometimes we’d get a little bit impatient looking for that one goal because we haven’t found that goal at various times throughout the year so sometimes with our attacks we get a bit impatient.”
That impatience is what led to yet another loss. Ben Zemanski tried to send the ball upfield from the edge of his own penalty area but was unable to do so, giving Columbus the chance to produce the telling goal.
“The goal came off a clearance that we should have done better with. We missed it short,” Vanney said. “Instead of putting it behind their defense it turned into where ... they had us under sustained pressure... They get in behind us on a back door play that gets played in front of our goal and now it’s a scramble and the ball drops to them.”
But that’s been the story of 2012 for Chivas. And it doesn’t look like it’ll be changing any time soon.
“It’s frustrating because the guys put in an effort,” Vanney said. “I definitely think we deserved more out of it given the effort and everything. I feel for the guys. When they put in that kind of effort you want to come away with something.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org