CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA head into the league break breathing a bit easier after obtaining a smidgen of momentum last weekend with a draw against the rival LA Galaxy.
Head coach Wilmer Cabrera and his players acknowledged they have a lot of work to do to climb out of last place in the Western Conference standings, but at least they roll into their US Open Cup fourth-round matchup Saturday against the Carolina RailHawks (8 pm ET) – the same side that eliminated them last year – with some confidence.
“Certainly, we can feel a little bit better about ourselves in the coming weeks before our next MLS game,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who on Sunday set the club record for all-time appearances with 124, told MLSsoccer.com. “We have Open Cup games to keep us fresh.”
Saturday’s match at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., will mark the sides’ third meeting in as many years; the Railhawks earned a 3-1 victory in 2013, capitalizing on a reeling Chivas USA team that had just fired head coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá.
This season, the Rojiblancos appear to be much more organized going into the tournament. Cabrera said he has particularly been impressed with their performances away from home; the Goats have grabbed at least one point in four of their six road matches in league play this year.
“As I said last weekend, the good thing about us is that when we play away, we’re good,” Cabrera told reporters. “We played away [Sunday] and it was good. It was the team we know and the team we still need to see more often.”
- Get the latest Rojiblancos news at CDChivasUSA.com
Earning a point against the Galaxy was a step forward for Chivas USA after they had been shut out two consecutive weeks at StubHub Center. Second-year forward Erick “Cubo” Torres, whose loan with the club was extended on Tuesday for the remainder of 2014, returned to the scoring sheet Sunday, grabbing sole possession of third place among the league’s goal leaders with nine. He snapped a season-long scoring drought of three games.
“As a forward, sometimes you go through streaks where, all of a sudden, you can’t score,” Torres told MLSsoccer.com. “I was happy I was able to help the team again.
“Now we’ve got a quick break, so we’ve got to take advantage of that and recharge our batteries a bit. We’ve got to unplug ourselves from past results and come back ready to get some victories.”