Chivas USA endured their second shutout of the season Saturday night against the San Jose Earthquakes, and it might have been more painful for head coach Wilmer Cabrera than the first.
Unlike their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the rival LA Galaxy on April 6, the Goats controlled much of the game and outshot their opponent but still left Buck Shaw Stadium empty-handed in a 1-0 loss.
Despite executing their game plan well, Chivas USA remain winless since their season opener thanks to an inability to be clinical on the tail end of scoring chances. It’s something that has plagued them in recent weeks.
“We played well, but that’s not good enough,” Cabrera told reporters after the loss. “We have to score.”
It was a tale of two halves for the inconsistent Goats. After dominating the first half, they conceded a goal in the 66th minute when Yannick Djaló volleyed in a long-ranged lob from Shea Salinas. Even facing the deficit on the road, a point appeared reasonable given how well the offense had built opportunities and sustained pressure.
The work was undone, though, when goalkeeper Dan Kennedy received a red card in the 77th minute for a hand ball outside the penalty box, leaving the Rojiblancos down a man and in desperation mode.
“I thought I could make a play on it, but [Alan] Gordon just got there before me,” Kennedy told reporters. “I don’t think I reacted with my hand, but sometimes that’s my reaction. It just barely clipped my fingers, so the referee did what he had to do.”
Chivas USA held an edge in shots (15-7), corner kicks (3-0) and possession percentage, but forced Jon Busch to make only three saves.
“The whole team looks good,” Cabrera said. “I don’t think anyone that came to the game would say, ‘Wow, Chivas USA came to defend and keep the ball away.’ No, we out-possessed and out-shot the other team, but [the Earthquakes] scored one goal. That one mistake or one situation where we didn’t finish; it’s separating us from the rest of the teams.”
- Get the latest headlines at CDChivasUSA.com
Saturday marked the second consecutive one-goal loss for Chivas USA (1-4-3), whose goal differential of minus-6 is the worst in the Western Conference. They have not kept a clean sheet in any game this season.
“For whatever reason, we’ve been playing pretty well, but we just can’t put an entire game together offensively and defensively for 90 minutes,” defender Carlos Bocanegra told reporters. “We’re close, but we have to put full games together.”