CARSON, Calif. – Disgusted with how Chivas USA were performing in the first half of Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids, head coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá walked away from his bench while play unfolded behind him.
Head referee Kevin Stott was still a minute away from blowing his whistle, yet Chelís stood at the entrance of the tunnel some 200 feet from his bench, anxiously waiting for halftime to arrive. It was indicative of the frustration the veteran Mexican coach was feeling on a night where little went right.
“We weren’t very decisive, we weren’t very convincing compared to our last games,” Chelís told reporters in his postgame press conference. “Sometimes we hit the jackpot, today we didn’t. We know the road ahead of us is a tough road, but it’s the only road we have.”
Saturday night’s showing was a stark contrast of what Chelís expected from Chivas USA, who had earned points in each of their four previous matches. The Rojiblancos spoiled numerous scoring opportunities, including in the 36th minute when José Correa’s penalty shot hit the crossbar.
Chelís was disgusted, but not discouraged.
“I lick my wounds; we were crap,” he said. “This is not about having opportunities or being worthy or merited. That’s how it is. Today wasn’t for us.”
Correa earned a penalty kick when Rapids defender Shane O’Neill brought him down in the box. He stepped up to take the shot but hesitated before missing high.
“We made too many mistakes,” Correa said. “We could have tied it; I had the game on my foot. But this means we’ve got to keep working. Now we have to focus on what’s to come.”
Despite the loss, Chivas USA (3-2-1) remained in second place in the Western Conference standings with 10 points. The Rojiblancos failed to score for the first time since the season-opening, 3-0, loss to the Columbus Crew, but still are only second to league-leading FC Dallas in goals.
“We were unfortunate,” said rookie midfielder Carlos Alvarez, who sailed a potential game-tying shot over the crossbar late in the second half. “The effort wasn’t there, so I’m sure that’s what coach is referring to. He’s a talented coach, so he knows what he’s saying.”
Chivas USA next head out on the road and play three of their next four on the road. That's in stark contrast to their schedule so far, which has seen them play just one game away from the Home Depot Center. The upcoming stretch will undoubtedly be an important one for a team still out to prove it’s no fluke.
“It came down to us missing our opportunities,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “It’s still early in the season. We’ll use it as a lesson. We need to remember how this feels and make sure it’s only a one-game feeling.”