By John Santos, Chiv
6-2. That was the final score at last night’s match as Chivas
USA succumbed to the Seattle Sounders. What can one say after
such a loss? Is it the coach’s fault? Are the players not playing up to their
potential? Or is it the universe just playing a cruel joke on everyone and
making it harder for the Goats to get anything done on the field? In this
examiners opinion, it’s a combination of all three.
Week in and week out the starting lineups keep changing. Where is the
consistency? Where is the coach instilling confidence in a player by trusting
him with the duty of starting the match on a constant basis? Was it nice to see
Casey Townsend and Tristan Bowen getting the rare start tonight? Sure. As a
young prospects, they're hungry for an opportunity to show what they are capable
of. But for a player who is still raw, and another who only just recently got
back from a loan, is it wise to have them go nearly the full 90 against someone
like the Seattle Sounders? They’ll give it their all and get a good shot or two
near goal, but will it beenough?
At the same time though, Juan Pablo Angel has shown that he’s not the player
he used to be. 90 minutes are almost impossible for him now. Still, he shown
that as a super-sub, he’s still got something left in the tank. How much
though? Just enough for a quick 5 minute burst? Or maybe enough for 25
minutes? Certainly an offensive jolt at the 65th minute when the Goats were
down only 3-2 (following an impressive goal from midfielder Miller Bolaños)
could have helped turn the tide. While it wouldn’t have helped on the defensive
side of things (more on that in a minute) brining in J.P.A. in could have change
the teams’ goal scoring woes.
The defense has been crap. Sorry for the lack of a better term, but that’s
how this examiner feels. From wins over Portland, to draws with San Jose, and losses against the neighbors, the defense has yet
to instill any kind of confidence. Sure, it has been shuffled more times than a
deck of cards. But nearly every combination of defenders has been disastrous
(with Dan Kennedy in his usual “bail out” roll). Tonight was no different.
Neither Dan Califf nor Raushawn McKenzie (who aren’t spring chickens themselves
either) played in the contest, but replacements Bobby Burling and John Valencia
were up to the task of letting the other teams’ offense run all over them.
Veterans of the backline like James Riley and Ante Jazic fared no better playing
some of their worst Soccer in as Roji-Blancos (with the latter
scoring an own goal to ice the match at 6-2). Seattle didn’t simply beat them;
they publicly undressed the defense, exposing their many faults. The obvious
being that Dan Kennedy is not Superman. Try all he can, he cannot keep the team
in contention for a result all by himself. Allowing 6 goals in a match (even if
most of them aren’t your fault) certainly won’t look good in the eye of a
National team coach looking for new prospects in the player pool.
So in the end, what do we have? Good players? Check. Devoted supporters?
Check. A good team? Not by a long shot. The supporters have hit their
breaking point for the year. It seems the players have too if you believe the
scuttlebutt from the little birdies.
The Goats are a pretty fortunate team off the field. With a General Manager
that has tried to change things up (albeit with older players) to a schedule
that currently sees them with 4 matches in hand (that would translate to 12
points) the team is in a good position to make the post season. Unfortunately
for them, they would have to win those 4 matches (2 in a row is the max streak
they’ve managed to put together all season). With everyone looking onto the 5th
and final playoff spot held by Vancouver, FC Dallas has now managed to surge
leaving the Goats behind in 7th place. The breaks for the Goats have been there
for a better season. Yet they've failed to capitalize each and every time all
And after the events last night, no positive can undo the sheer embarrassment
of a 6-2 beating.