At long last, Chivas USA’s road drought is over.
The Rojiblancos on Sunday got important contributions from two players who were very familiar with the territory in a 3-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids at snowy Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, snapping their eight-game winless streak and 19-game dry spell on the road.
Marvin Chávez, whom the Goats acquired from the Rapids earlier in the week, scored twice and midfielder Martin Rivero, who arrived from Colorado in early April, assisted on the other goal to secure the club’s second win of the season.
“[Chávez and Rivero] have the confidence, personality and talent to impact the game,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters following his triumphant return to Colorado, where he spent two years as an assistant before taking the Chivas USA job this past offseason. “That‘s what we were looking for to finish the game -- with Marvin, Martin and Mauro Rosales on the field. It’s important for all of us to get that confidence. The chemistry is getting better and better.”
Chivas USA had not won a road match since March 24 of last year (4-1 at Chicago) -- a string of 19 consecutive league games. They weathered a storm in the first half Sunday, with the wind and snow in their face and the Rapids holding an 8-1 edge in attempts on target.
Yet they were not content to just withstand the frosty conditions.
“We planned an intelligent game,” said Rivero, who was in the starting lineup in pace of Rosales (left adductor strain) and set up the opening score by sending in a sinking pass to Erick “Cubo” Torres in the 56th minute. “We knew [the Rapids] liked having possession of the ball and we tried to play with their desperation. When we had the ball, we tried to attack. In the first half, with the difficulty of the weather, it was complicated for both teams, but a bit more for us.”
Chávez, who was an unused substitute in his final seven games with the Rapids, took the pitch immediately after Torres scored. Cabrera recalled telling Chavez to have fun and enjoy the moment, and what followed was nothing short of a dream debut for the Honduras international.
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Chávez scored in the 67th minute on a breakaway and found the net again nine minutes later on a mistake by the Colorado back line, putting Chivas USA ahead 3-0. The two goals from the newcomer ended a streak by Torres, who had scored the team's previous seven goals.
“I didn’t imagine that would happen; I was only thinking about contributing to the team,” Chávez told reporters. “I thought that we were capable of earning the three points. This was a blessing for all of us.
"I’m a professional. I came to do my job and take advantage of the opportunity from Wilmer. I'm happiest for the three points."