Chivas USA face daunting schedule in May
May is not shaping up to be an easy month for Chivas USA.
The Red-and-White will play six matches in the next four
weeks, including tough road games at Chicago, New England, Columbus and D.C.
United. And while the team is certainly riding high after Saturday’s victory
over San Jose,
they know that tough times lie ahead.
“We have two games back to back on the road before we come
home,” said midfielder Michael Lahoud. “We’re looking to get the maximum
points. Any game we go into, we have to adopt the attitude that we’re confident
in our preparation and we can win. So another good week of training is what we
look forward to before trying to get some tough results on the road.”
By most accounts, Chivas USA were excellent against San Jose
on Saturday. The Red-and-White defense was tough to play through, and the
attack finally seemed to have the luster that new head coach Martín Vásquez had
promised upon his arrival.
All that being said, the Goats are anything but complacent
this week as they prepare for Chicago.
“We are still looking for more,” said Vásquez after the game
against the Quakes. “We want to maintain our form for longer periods of the
game, and improve our rhythm and tempo. We’d like to work towards getting
shutouts as well.”
A major boost for the Red-and-White last weekend was the emergence
of an energetic offense that scored three goals in one game for the first time
since October 2008. Maintaining that fluid attack in the month of May will
certainly be a priority for the Goats.
“Obviously offense was something that we wanted to work on
coming into this year,” Lahoud said. “It comes back to that mentality; if you
don’t shoot, you don’t score. We just have to have an opportunistic mentality
from now on. Because some days, one little deflection or one attempted shot
from an impossible angle makes the difference. Hopefully we’re the team taking
Beyond maintaining its offense, Chivas USA also have their
sights set on winning big games. Last year, the club went 1-7-1 against the
four teams that finished in the top two in each conference (Columbus and
Chicago in the East, Los Angeles and Houston in the West). With losses already
to Los Angeles and Houston in 2010, the Goats are eager for the impending away
games at Chicago and Columbus as a chance for some giant-killing.
“Our mind set is to beat those big teams,” Lahoud said. “We
have to adopt the mindset that we can play with, and beat, anybody. I think
that consistency is our next biggest step.”
The Red-and-White kick off their busy month against Chicago
this Saturday at Toyota Park.