CARSON, Calif. — It was a new game. But once again, the same old mistakes plagued Chivas USA at home.
Once more the Rojiblancos were unable to hold the lead as they earned a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Once again, the Goats struggled to earn a victory at home as the team fell to a 1-3-3 record at the Home Depot Center.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
After setting a torrid pace with confident victories against the New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution, Fraser admitted that this result against the Whitecaps may have signaled a regression for his fledgling side.
“I feel like this is one of the press conferences from the first or second game of the year and we just weren’t aggressive enough in the attacking end of the field,” said Fraser. “We’ve gone a great job of getting away from that in the last eight games, but tonight it felt like one of the earlier games for us.”
Part of the lack of aggression came from a number of absences as four starters (Alejandro Moreno, Jorge Flores, Andrew Boyens and Simon Elliott) were out due to international duty or suspension. Coupled with a short week, the lineup had just a single day in which to prepare for this Vancouver side.
Defender Heath Pearce voiced his frustration after the match, the last 25 minutes of which Chivas played up a man.
“We were really bland in attack with a lack of creativity and movement and played a really predictable game, which made it easy for them,” said Pearce. “But then we went up a man and the movement started happening. We think it’s better when it’s easier and that’s not the way we should be. That’s not the way that we’ve been successful this year. We need to go back to basics and not lose sight of what has made us good this season.”
While the Rojiblancos attempt to look in the mirror after another poor result at home, they’ll deal with a short turn around as another home game looms with the Portland Timbers scheduled to visit on Saturday.
The good news is that there were some positives to come out of Wednesday. Long-time injury casualties Paulo Nagamura and Mike Lahoud were able to make their first appearances for the team since April 16 and May 15, respectively.
The pair came on in the 60th minute of play and were productive over 30 minutes of action. With both manning the flanks, the Rojiblancos began to find more space in which to attack, something that only increased when Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli was red carded just six minutes into their inclusion.
In a match that saw his team struggle, Fraser was not afraid to admit that their return was a huge bright spot.
“They were definite bright spots and guys that we’ve wanted to get healthy,” said Fraser. “They were able to get in and I thought that both players were bright. Physically, they were both very good and were definite bright spots.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano