Chivas again fall short against a heavyweight
It has long been typical of Chivas USA to struggle in big-time
matches. The Red-and-White can always beat the teams they’re supposed to beat,
but when it comes time for giant-killing, they seem to lose their nerve.
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Last year, the club went 1-7-1 against the four clubs that
finished in the top two of their conference (Columbus and Chicago in the East,
Los Angeles and Houston in the West), and the results so far this season offer
little evidence this streak is likely to change anytime soon.
With Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Houston, the Goats have now already
dropped six points this season at the hands of the top two Western Conference
powerhouses from last year. If they're going to make a serious run at the MLS Cup in 2010, they're going to have
to start pulling upsets.
In this latest defeat to the Dynamo, Chivas certainly had
moments of brilliance, but they failed to string those moments together into a
cohesive possession game. They spent much of the match’s first 20 minutes
chasing the Dynamo, and were punished dearly for it with two early goals from
the home side.
Watching the game, one couldn’t help but wonder how things
would have been different if the injured Ante Jazic, Maykel Galindo and
Marcelo Saragosa had been available. At 34, 29 and 28, respectively, the three
would have brought the veteran leadership and composure that was missing.
With the exceptions of goalkeeper Zach Thornton and right-back
Mariano Trujillo, not one Chivas player on the field was older than 27. So it
was up to the youngsters, including Ben Zemanski, Jorge Flores, Gerson Mayen and
Blair Gavin, none of whom are older than 21.
This youth is by no means a negative thing, in and of itself.
The future is bring. But against a physical, veteran team like the Dynamo, the
lack of experience will always make the difference.