- By John Santos, Chivas USA Examiner
Despite a preseason with lopsided losses to fellow pro teams aside, it was best to just be positive coming into First Kick 2012. As supporters, all we can really do is hope for the best and trust that the powers that be are taking care of things. And sure, someone will talk about possession, player acquisitions and the quality of shots and all that stuff, but to use an often beaten to death cliché, “You don’t get extra points for winning pretty”. With a troubled 2011 behind them, the Goats looked to get the 2012 season going in the right direction.
For 91 minutes this past Sunday, it looked like that would be the case. Sure, it wouldn’t be a win, but the shaky defense that had been a problem all of last season looked to do their part for a change. Then there was a scramble in the box. Then Houston Dynamo defender André Hainault did his best Brian Ching impersonation and buried a shot past the outstretched arms of Goats Goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy.
Advertisement “It was like being punched in the gut while you are sleeping,” posted one Goats supporter on bigsoccer.com
This examiner would have to concur with that sentiment. Anyone watching could tell that the Dynamo probably deserved the win. Sure Juan Pablo Angel had his fair share of near shots (i.e. misses) like the one at the 40th minute that beat every Dynamo defender except the post, but for the most part the offense was rather dull. To see the team almost walk away with a draw, and the first home opener not to end in a loss since 2009 was hard to take in. Most won’t agree with me, but this examiner will not take any positives from the match itself. As much as it upsets me and others, Houston deserved its 3 points.
In other news, the Chivas USA organization has decided to cover the north end of the Home Depot Center with a tarp, as well as the upper deck. While some will mock it as a glorified “Tifo” in the weeks and months to come, this examiner applauds the decision makers for this. However I would like to pose a challenge to said decision makers: When the time comes for the LA derby, please keep the tarps in place. Do not bend to the will of the neighbors from down the hall. We in that rare crossover journalist/soccer supporter community like to think you have some integrity. Also, if you want to get used to the idea of an 18,000 seat stadium (knock on wood “Corona Stadium at Expo Park”), then these matches will be the perfect time to begin prepping you staff for that sized crowd. Sure, the detractors will say things like “you can’t do that, you’re only renting the place”. But when that rent check clears, remember that it’s your place to do whatever you want to do in it. So let them make their jokes and take their jabs. Preferably from a really crammed corner of the stadium (i.e. section 116).
Here’s to you 2012.
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