CARSON, Calif. – In late July, Chivas USA were within sight of the postseason. By August, the bottom had fallen out. Try as they might, Chivas’ players and coaches could not right the ship in September or October.
Finally, there is light at the end of tunnel because the tunnel is finally coming to an end.
Chivas USA will close out their 2012 season on Sunday at FC Dallas (7 pm ET, Galavision), and there is little left to do at this point but see the job through.
“In the worst times, you have to show your character, and obviously these are bad times,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “It’s an opportunity to finish on the right note. Many things prior to this have not gone well but we still have an opportunity to do something right.”
Chivas have had a bit of a tumultuous ride this week, at least in the front office.
The club’s makeover was set in motion when José Luis “Guero” Real was hired as supervisor of soccer operations with José David taking over as club president. Fraser’s rumored to be on the outs, with former Chivas de Guadalajara coach Efraín Flores rumored to be replacing him.
Perhaps the noise the team is making in the season’s final week is fitting, given the disaster that unfolded down the stretch. Players said the team’s slide over the past two months has been jarring but not an accurate reflection of the kind of team assembled for the task.
“It’s been humbling and surprising to all of us,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “We definitely have taken some results in a way that doesn’t represent who we are, doesn’t represent our club and the fans that we have. It’s left a bit of a bad taste in all of our mouths.”
Even more disappointing, the team is almost in the same spot as a year ago.
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In fact, Chivas need a victory at FC Dallas to avoid finishing in a worse spot – at least statistically – than 2011. A win would give the Goats eight on the season, the same number they had in each of the past two years. Still, even with a win, they would finish four points short of their 2011 total.
No matter what happens at FC Dallas Stadium, nothing can take away the sting from what has been a dark season for Chivas.
“I’m just really disappointed,” Kennedy said. “We’ve put a lot of work into this and to have the season go the way that it did and have nothing to show for it, first of all that’s not good enough but on the other hand it’s just disappointing.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.