One streak remained intact, but another came to a close for Chivas USA on Sunday night.
Erick “Cubo” Torres found the back of the net for the sixth consecutive game, but the spark arrived far too late as the Rojiblancos saw their five-game unbeaten streak end with a 3-1 loss to Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United. During their four-game win streak since the return from World Cup break, the Goats had allowed only one goal.
The lapses were too frequent Sunday and – for one afternoon – it all came crumbling down.
“We’ll be fine,” captain Carlos Bocanegra told reporters at RFK Stadium. “We won’t let this one affect us too much. We had won four in a row and were unbeaten in five, and it had to end at some point. It’s OK – we know we didn’t play well. If we would have played well and they beat us, we’d be real, real disappointed.
“Unfortunately, we had a little bit of an off night and [D.C. United] had a good one. We’ve got to leave this one behind us and move forward.”
Torres, who was named to the MLS All-Star team earlier in the week, scored his 14th goal of the season in the 84th minute, beating Bill Hamid from the penalty spot after Mauro Rosales was brought down inside the box. Rosales and Torres teamed up for a golden opportunity 10 minutes into the second half, but the 21-year-old spoiled it with a shot over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, D.C. United got their second goal of the night and the Goats were left chasing a result.
“We didn’t look sharp, especially in the first half,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters. “We looked sluggish, slow and tired. They carried over the heavy load of a lot of games, and traveling from the west to east coast. It was a little humid and it could be that affected us. We didn’t look good with the ball and weren’t aggressive enough. [D.C. United] took advantage.”
Chivas USA, who had not dropped a league match away from home since May 11, were in a hole just 25 minutes in when Oswaldo Minda bumped Chris Rolfe inside the box. Eddie Johnson got his shot past Dan Kennedy and also set up the second goal with a header off a set piece.
“D.C. did a good job passing and moving. They got their fullbacks into the attack and made it difficult for us,” Bocanegra said. “It was a tough game for us.
“I don’t think we played very well in general, so that combination ended in not such a good result for us.”