CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA understand that 2012 will be a year of transition as the newly revamped squad looks to progress from moral victories to actual wins.
But early on in the club’s redevelopment, moral victories might prove decisive in turning the team around.
An Andre Hainault’s stoppage-time goal may have given the Dynamo a 1-0 victory on Sunday, but the Rojiblancos hung with the MLS Cup finalists for most of the match. This was all the more impressive considering the absence of three injured starters, Alejandro Moreno (broken nose), Mike Lahoud (hamstring) and John Valencia (quadriceps).
“I thought that the battling and the fight were good today,” said defender James Riley. “The soccer will get better as we get cohesive as a unit, we’ll be able to analyze the game and see different spots where we can affect the game, both offensively and defensively.”
In particular, Chivas matched the Dynamo’s physicality throughout the match and several chances by Juan Pablo Angel nearly put the club ahead.
After watching the team struggle to find their footing in the preseason, head coach Robin Fraser expressed his optimism to his group following an encouraging performance.
“There was no need to and no sense in hanging our heads, we’ll come back and we’ll look at the things that we didn’t do well enough and continue to pound away at the things that we did do well,” said Fraser. “We’re a group that is building and if this game is a starting point for what is a relatively new group, I’m encouraged about where we’re going to be.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHV 0, HOU 1