They might be limping through a nine-game winless streak, but Chivas USA could take consolation in knowing they are only two points away from matching their total from last season.
Of course, their position in the standings is the same as in 2013, they’re the lowest-scoring team in MLS and also own the league's worst goal differential. But an argument could be made that, by comparison to their tumultuous season in 2013, the Goats have made progress in the first season under head coach Wilmer Cabrera, who has secured 24 points from 27 games.
Chivas USA can surpass their point total from last season with a win Friday night against Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center (10:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE), and though that might not be the rosiest accomplishment, it’s simply the situation they find themselves in.
“It’s been unfortunate, but let’s make a difference right now,” defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste told the club’s website this week. “We’ve gotten the unlucky side of the coin, but we deal with it. The cards have been dealt and it’s unfortunate, but we deal with it."
The Goats appear set to host a team that is on the opposite end of the spectrum, but one that has struggled almost as much as they have in recent weeks. Sporting KC continue their current three-game road swing having dropped their previous four matches.
“It’s an important meeting given that we’ve lost four in a row and so have they,” Félix Borja told the team site. “It’s about being mentally strong and, God willing, we can break the bad streak of results. Getting the three points is the most important thing at this moment.”
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Chivas USA have been outscored 20-3 during their nine-game drought, and they’ll again be without leading scorer Erick “Cubo” Torres, who’s on red-card suspension through Sept. 21. His absence has left much of the goalscoring responsibility on Borja, who has 11 shots in five games since joining the club.
“I want to score because it helps you as a forward,” Borja said. “But I’m not going to stop running and working at maximum for the team. I know that at any time I could have the opportunity to score.”
It could be prove difficult for Borja and the rest of the Goats. Though Sporting KC might be in a rut, Jean-Baptiste said their high-pressure style was a point of emphasis in training this week and Chivas USA would be ready to deal with it.
“Playing against the reigning champs, it’s time for everybody to show what you’re capable of individually and as a team,” Jean-Baptiste said. “You can show you can play as a team, connect passes and hopefully bang in a goal against a team with a good goalie and a good backline.”