Not long ago, when Chivas USA were stuck amidst a nine-game winless streak, head coach Wilmer Cabrera called for progress and consistency from his group. He appears to be getting exactly that after the Rojiblancos grabbed another point on the road Saturday night against FC Dallas.
The Goats, who last week snapped a 19-game winless drought away from home, might be returning to Southern California a bit disappointed after coughing up a late lead, yet the 1-1 result probably won’t diminish what they accomplished at Toyota Stadium, where they had fallen by a 3-1 score line just two months ago.
“We’re happy because it was very good work on the field throughout 90 minutes,” Cabrera told reporters in Dallas. “We were a very solid team, organized and disciplined. There wasn’t any moment when we felt that FC Dallas was coming after us with too many opportunities. We’re sad because we spoke about set pieces being one of their strengths, but we know it’s not easy to get a point on the road.
"We have gotten four points from our last two matches on the road. It’s important to continue believing in what we do and for the players to continue working.”
The Goats appeared content to sit back and protect their net until they got a slight break in the 60th minute. Lineup newcomer Martin Rivero crossed a ball to midfielder Mauro Rosales, who returned to starting duty after being limited the previous two weeks with a left adductor strain. Rather than maintain possession by slowing down or running wider -- a strategy that Chivas USA have tried to implement in their road games recently -- Rosales turned and sped past Matt Hedges before finding Marco Delgado at the doorstep.
It was the first professional goal for Delgado, who was occupying the center midfielder position for the second straight week a day after his 19th birthday.
“I’ve known Marky since he was in the residency program,” Cabrera said. “He’s a good player and he’s getting more mature, getting there and getting better. It’s important for him and the whole tram; Marky scored, but the whole team was working to provide that opportunity.”
Defensively, Chivas USA (2-5-4) improved tremendously from their last meeting with FC Dallas and Cabrera sounded satisfied with the effort despite the late equalizer from Fabian Castillo.
“When we lose, we don’t give up, and when we have won, we know the next one won’t be easy,” Cabrera said. “We go game by game and work throughout the week. The results you can see on the field and, little by little, we’re getting there.”