CARSON, Calif. – Riding a season-high three-game winning streak that has them suddenly back in the playoff picture, Chivas USA are more focused on continuing their improved defense than they are concerned about the club's immense scoring disparity.
Yes, budding star Erick “Cubo” Torres has scored all but five of the club’s goals this season. Yes, the striker has found the back of the net in 12 of Chivas USA’s 17 league games – the only Rojiblanco to score since May 17, in fact – yet the overwhelming sentiment in the locker room is that others will eventually begin to contribute.
“I’m sure it will come,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters. “Marvin Chavez, when he gets his legs under him, and I think Leandro [Barrera] is due. As long as Cubo continues to find a way, he’s going to get more and more attention from other teams, and it’s going to open up some opportunities for other guys.”
Chavez, who returned from World Cup duty with Honduras last week and played 88 minutes in a 1-0 victory Saturday against the Montreal Impact, ranks second on the team with two strikes in just two games – both coming in his only other appearance after being acquired from the Colorado Rapids in early May.
Three others have one goal apiece, though two of those came all the way back in season opener more than four months ago.
Despite the alarming statistics, head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters it does him no good to stress about the dependence on Torres, especially given his team’s recent run of success. He has seen promising glimpses from Barrera, Ryan Finley, Marco Delgado and Eric Avila in the attacking third in recent weeks.
“If they continue working that way, at some point, someone is going to score for us,” Cabrera said. “But if Cubo is scoring goals, we have to believe he’s going to continue scoring goals.”
Torres told the media he does not feel pressure to shoulder the load, even though he has netted 19 of the team’s 30 goals since he arrived on loan from Mexican side CD Guadalajara last summer.
- Catch the latest Goats news at CDChivasUSA.com
“It’s least important who scores,” Torres said. “In the end, I’m the center forward, and my job is to score goals.”
According to captain Carlos Bocanegra, the Goats might not be following the best blueprint by relying heavily on their 21-year-old forward.
“As long as he doesn’t get injured and scores every game, we’re fine,” Bocanegra told reporters. “But you can’t really think that way. We’re riding his hot streak at the moment. We’re not really winning pretty; we’re not dominating teams. We’re playing solidly defensively, working hard, making it really difficult on other teams, and [Torres] is getting goals."