2012 in Review: Chivas USA's season in quotes

Over the next three weeks, MLSsoccer.com will take a look back at the 2012 season that was for all 19 clubs in Major League Soccer, starting with Toronto FC and ending with the Supporters' Shield-winning San Jose Earthquakes. You can find the schedule and comprehensive reviews for each team here.

2012 record: 7-18-9 (30 points); 24 GF / 58 GA (-34 GD)

2012 Chivas USA statistics

2012 in Review: Chivas USA

Armchair Analyst: Chivas ready for rebuild

Opta Spotlight: Numbers not kind to Chivas

Editor's note: Chivas USA didn't make a member of the remaining technical staff available for a postseason question-and-answer session, but there was plenty of internal dissection during and after the season.

What went wrong for Chivas USA in 2012? Well, perhaps that's too simple of a question – the team couldn't score or stop opponents from scoring. But what really went wrong for the club? Was it simply a matter of coaching? Did the team not have the right players in place? Was the team not strong enough mentally?

What little progress was made in Robin Fraser’s (below right) first year in charge of los Rojiblancos came to a screeching halt as the team struggled all over the field in 2012. With Robin Fraser’s ouster and the arrival of Jorge Vergara as full-time owner, the club’s situation is very much in limbo.

Why was Chivas USA unable to put it all together in games?

“From preseason on, we haven’t been able to garner up that moment, that game where the guys really feel like they’ve found their identity as a group where they go, ‘I know exactly what it’s going to take to win games and to win games our way.’ We’ve grinded through a lot of results over the course of the year but when you grind through results and have a lot of things that happen to you, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy when we haven’t got that moment to really define us this season, a convincing win in a convincing performance. We’ve been unfortunate to not have that moment.”

– Assistant coach Greg Vanney, after 1-0 loss at Columbus on Sept. 19

How much of a setback was it not to have that defining moment as the season progressed?

“It’s almost like as the game progresses that there’s a feeling in the group that something strange is going to happen to us at some point, something is going to turn the tide on us and that’s kind of where it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. No matter how much you play or no matter how much you do, that moment that’s going to cost you the game is going to come. That’s a little bit of the fight that we’re fighting through.”

– Vanney, post-Columbus

Did the belief players had in their teammates and the squad ever waver?

“I do think the guys believe in themselves, they clearly believe in the effort and what they’re doing out there but we keep managing to find that slip, that moment. There were a lot of things – sometimes you could have had a call here or there that maybe could have changed the momentum that would have allowed us to step our lines up and get into their half of the field – that maybe we didn’t pick up that then lends to the frustration that the guys have.”

– Vanney, post-Columbus

Aside from the tactical missteps and roster shortcomings, what hampered Chivas USA the most?

“We’ve simply not been good enough. We’ve done some things well, but you just can’t escape the fact that we’ve made too many critical mistakes at too many times, and on the attacking end of the field, we haven’t been productive enough. If you’re not productive on the attacking end, then the defenders feel the pressure of having to make plays, and [if] the defenders don’t make plays, then the forwards feel the pressure of having to score. Either way, it’s a bad cycle to get into.”

– Robin Fraser, after 4-0 loss to Vancouver on Oct. 3

Change has already struck Chivas USA, with the firings of Fraser, Vanney and GM Jose Domene among others. What will Chivas USA look like in 2013?

“We want to have a more spectacular brand of soccer, more entertaining and more Hispanic. We’re going to create a team that is more aggressive and will have this ingredient as part of the philosophy. ... Obviously we’re going to bring some of the players from Chivas Guadalajara here, some of the prospects, some of the promising players we have there. We’ll have a team that feels the philosophy, that understands what Chivas is.”

– Jorge Vergara (right), Nov. 13 press conference

On rumors that the club may look for a home outside of Los Angeles...

“There are other offers for us. A city in Texas is offering us the moon and the stars but it’s very clear why we chose Los Angeles. We paid extra to be in Los Angeles when we joined MLS. We are going to stay here. We have no intentions of moving away from Los Angeles.”

– Vergara, Nov. 13 press conference

How dedicated is the new ownership to Chivas USA?

“This is an enormous challenge that we take on with a lot of passion and desire to succeed. There was a reason why we invested the money we did into this, because we are confident we will come out ahead.”

– Vergara, Nov. 13 press conference


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