It wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction.
Chivas USA earned a 0-0 draw on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, their second straight scoreless draw. And though they remain at the bottom of the Western Conference, they are undefeated in their last three matches.
The Rojiblancos dominated possession throughout early parts of the match and were unlucky not to score in the first half despite earning six corner kicks in the first 45 minutes. It may have been the most threatening that Chivas USA have looked all season, but head coach Robin Fraser said he felt it was three points lost for the Rojiblancos.
WATCH: Full match highlights
“For a team that is young and building, we continue to see more and more positives,” Fraser said. “In every game that we’ve played this year, we’ve had stretches of possession and we’ve dominated at times, but we struggle to turn possession into good chances.”
Though the team created several scoring opportunities, it was the defensive play of Heath Pearce and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy that helped shut out a Vancouver attack that had scored eight goals in three previous home matches. Pearce did well at center back filling in for the injured Jimmy Conrad — who was unable to play due to a concussion — and was consistently able to close down burly Whitecaps attacker Eric Hassli.
As for Kennedy, he further putting his stamp on the starting goalkeeper position. Though officially tallying two saves, none was larger than the 90th-minute stop off substitute Nizar Khalfan.
“On the road, you have to be happy with a point,” Kennedy said. “We had our chances, they had some dangerous moments and we dealt with it, and they dealt with us, so it was a pretty fair result.”
While the Rojiblancos will likely leave Vancouver feeling that they dropped points, the team did receive one huge lift as Paulo Nagamura made his return to the lineup. After suffering a calf strain that hindered him throughout the preseason, Nagamura was able to play 30 minutes in the scoreless draw.
Through all the positive play in defense, it is once again the lack of goals that is preventing the Rojiblancos from earning their first result. However, Fraser admits that this is all a part of the club’s learning curve.
“When you have a team on the ropes, you need to find a way to will one into the goal,” Fraser said. “Hopefully, as we continue to grow this season, we realize that these are critical moments in the game. Championship teams aren’t born over night.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano