CARSON, Calif. – The “goals scored” column tells the whole story when it comes to Chivas USA’s form at the Home Depot Center in 2012.
In three matches at home this season, the Rojiblancos have gone 0-3 and have yet to register a goal. On Sunday, they fell 1-0 to Sporting KC, resigning them to a four-game losing streak at home dating back to the end of the 2011 season.
It’s their longest since the franchise’s inaugural 2005 season, when Chivas USA went 4-22-6 overall.
“I don’t know, I just know that teams that win their home games go to the playoffs,” defender Heath Pearce told reporters on Sunday when asked if there’s a solution. “It's pretty simple. There's no magic sauce, no magic juice that you have to drink or eat to do it. It's an attitude and teams that win their home game, generally make the playoffs.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Chivas USA 0, Sporting KC 1
Although the results have pleased no one, Pearce’s centerback partner Rauwshan McKenzie believes that it’s not time for the Rojiblancos to hit the panic button – not yet.
“We definitely have to put a focus on getting three points at home, we need to make this a fortress and a hard place for when teams come here,” said McKenzie. “We’ve got to take our chances when we get them, we have to work hard team defensively, we’ve got to be tough and kick people every now and then, not dirty, but to let them know that they’re in for a tough game.”
Lack of scoring due to Ángel loss?
For the third consecutive week, Chivas USA were without their star forward Juan Pablo Ángel as the 36-year-old veteran striker was held out due to a concussion. Following the defeat, head coach Robin Fraser admitted the Colombian’s absence has contributed to the squad’s scoring woes.
“I think that you have to look at [Ángel's absence] as significant,” Fraser offered. “Obviously, he’s scored a number of goals on every team that he’s been on over a long period of time. So you have to believe he's the type of player who finds goal scoring opportunities, for sure.”
Romero tallies hat trick in Reserve League
A solution to the goal drought may have presented itself in Monday’s Reserve League game. Chivas USA’s reserve squad defeated its LA Galaxy counterparts 4-2 in both clubs’ first reserve fixture this season.
Forward Cesar Romero tallied three goals for the Rojiblancos, while his partner up top, Miller Bolaños, grabbed the fourth.
Against the Galaxy, to Goats controlled long stretches of the match. And through the speed of Romero and Bolaños, they were able to frequently test Galaxy center backs Bryan Gaul and Tommy Meyer.
While scoring goals in league play remains a work in progress for Chivas, Romero believes Monday’s showing showcased a new, aggressive mindset that can be useful both in the first XI and reserves.
“This morning when we walked into the locker room, coach came in and told us that we connect, but we need to be more aggressive going forward,” Romero told reporters on Monday. “We need to be more aggressive in trying to score, to shoot to miss and to just keep trying and trying because if you shoot ten times then sure enough, one will go in.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com