CARSON, Calif – The long, difficult month of May is nearly over for Chivas USA, but not before the Rojiblancos hit the road one more time. On Saturday, they face the Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET; Direct Kick, MatchDay Live), a side that remains unbeaten at home.
Chivas USA return to the road where they have a healthy 2-1-2 record, one of the finest in MLS. The Crew, though, are 3-0-2 at home – but have failed to score in the last 203 minutes.
It seems like a low-scoring affair is in the offing. That’s not a bad thing for Chivas USA, a team that is in the midst of a building process.
“We’re growing each week, we’re struggling a bit in our play, but we’re staying in games, which is very important," Rojiblancos forward Justin Braun told MLSsoccer.com. "Even when we don’t play the soccer that we want we’re getting results, and that comes from just growing as one.
“Columbus will be a quality side. When they were here, they sat back, but at home, they’ll attack and get at us. But we’re solely focused on ourselves because if we do that, then we’ll get three points.”
The match against Columbus will be Chivas USA’s last with three members of their first XI for some time, as forward and captain Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela), and defender Andrew Boyens and midfielder Simon Elliott (New Zealand) will each depart next week on international duty.
The two teams share a great deal of connections -- Moreno helped lead Columbus to their first MLS Cup victory in 2008 -- but no connection is deeper than the one that Rojiblancos head coach Robin Fraser has with current Crew captain Chad Marshall. Fraser spent several years in the twilight of his career tutoring Marshall during the Crew stalwart's rookie season.
“I was 37 and Chad was 19 when we played together -- talk about an odd couple," said Fraser. "But he’s been tremendous and had it not been for a few injuries, his story would be even greater than it is now. He’s got great speed and is one of the best defenders in the air that I’ve ever seen and it’s been great to see him to continue to develop.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano