CARSON, Calif. – Not much had gone according to plan lately for Chivas USA, and despite fielding a new-look starting lineup Wednesday night, that certainly was the case again as they opened up another month with more of the same.
A horrific start wrote the story of the latest loss for a team that has endured many of those the last eight weeks.
The struggling Rojiblancos had their blueprint shredded to pieces by the Seattle Sounders at StubHub Center in a 4-2 result featuring teams on opposite ends of the standings, as the visitors scored four times in the first half, dissecting a sluggish defense that apparently had not recovered from the most recent SuperClasico blowout.
“Two different halves, definitely,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters in his postgame press conference. “The first half was embarrassing for us, especially when you receive goals on set pieces. It’s something we practice every week and focus on, and it’s about concentration from the players.”
The Goats made adjustments at halftime and fought back, scoring twice in a span of eight minutes after not having done so for 596 consecutive minutes dating back to July 20. Their much-talked-about drought – the worst in MLS this season, and the third-worst of all-time – was only five minutes shy of the club record set in 2012.
The breakthrough, though, was overshadowed by Seattle’s three set-piece goals in the first half.
“I’m not sure there’s a nice glow to this game,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters. “Really, we dug ourselves in a huge hole.”
Chivas USA, who saw their winless streak grow to eight games, outshot the Sounders 11-3 after the break, but the deficit was far too much for a club that has not shown an ability to come back.
“The second half was the best second half I’ve seen from Chivas USA since I’ve been here,” Cabrera said.
Given the quick turnaround following their 3-0 loss to the rival LA Galaxy three days earlier, Cabrera fielded a lineup that featured six new starters Wednesday. Marco Delgado was among that group, and he broke the dry spell with a header in the 51st minute.
“We scored those two goals and we had some chances to get the third one,” Finley said. “Obviously, we had to start better in the first half, but we showed character to fight back and not give up.”