Chivas USA Postscript: Lack of fire and firepower haunts team as it takes to the road
Those, apparently, are the reasons behind Chivas USA's 0-2 start to the Major League Soccer season.
"Through our lack of aggression, we didn't take advantage of the space that we were given and, had we done that, if we had that urgency, then we could have gotten the ball to the forwards in better spots," Chivas Coach Robin Fraser said in the wake of a 1-0 loss to the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids over the weekend.
"For whatever reason, we were just too passive."
Having lost its first two home games of the season, Chivas now takes to the road for two games. It plays the expansion Portland Timbers on Tuesday night in a U.S. Open Cup match and then heads directly to Canada to play Toronto FC on Saturday.
Neither game figures to be any easier than the first two, but they should provide an indication of Chivas USA's mettle.
"This is where you really find out about a team," Fraser said. "When you win, everything is rosy. It's when you lose that you find out what you're made of. Do you come back and battle or do you point fingers and not accept responsibility?
"I think that we're at an important point for this team and, based on these last two performances, we need to see what our response will be on Tuesday."
Chivas was not outplayed by Colorado, just as it was not outplayed by Sporting Kansas City in a 3-2 opening-game loss. But a bit of bad luck and a lot of uncertainty combined to undo what is essentially an entirely new team. Right now, Chivas looks and plays like an expansion side, but that could change quickly.
"We need a win to give us that spark and tell us that we're doing the right things," said Chivas defender and team captain Jimmy Conrad. "It's unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation because we're a better team than our record indicates."
The next two matches could prove or disprove that notion.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: Chivas Coach Robin Fraser. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images.