Closing out with three wins in four, Chivas USA's Wilmer Cabrera praises players for "never giving up"

CARSON, Calif. -- A tumultuous regular season for Chivas USA, one clouded by uncertainty and no playoffs, came to a close on Sunday afternoon, and the club's players and staff could not have been prouder.

The Goats wrapped up their season with a 1-0 triumph against the San Jose Earthquakes thanks to a Félix Borja goal in the first half and a determined defensive effort in the second. It was their third win in four matches to close out their 10th campaign in MLS, and the three points lifted them to 7th place in the Western Conference, their best finish in five season.

“It’s been a tough year for us; it’s not a secret,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters in his postgame press conference at StubHub Center. “But if you go with reality, you’re as good as your last game. We battled and pushed for a good result. If we review what we have done, in October we won three games out of four. We started building something at the end. I would like to give credit to the players for never giving up.”

Club President Nelson Rodriguez spoke with media members at halftime, but offered no updates on what the future holds beyond the immediate next steps. Cabrera and his coaching staff are scheduled to meet with the players on Monday morning to discuss offseason plans, and Rodriguez said players would be released from training sessions that typically follow the end of a campaign.

“Especially considering the circumstances, it would be almost unfair to keep asking them to train, so we’ve developed offseason programs for each individual player,” Rodriguez said.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, the longest tenured player on the team, with 144 appearances in seven seasons, said it was an emotional day, punctuated by the victory.

“Strange feelings for me,” said Kennedy, who recorded his sixth shutout of the season. “I’ve been here a long time. I was really, really happy the guys put in a full shift. I didn’t have much to do, and we got a win.”

On the day, the club marked the end of its 10th season in MLS, and the club's supporter groups took the field before the kickoff to stand alongside the players for the national anthem. 

“This year, we have learned and we have suffered a lot, but it’s a good learning curve,” Cabrera said. “We are well prepared for what is coming for all of us.”