Remaining Confident in Defense

Despite what looks to be a defensive slump, Chivas defender Mariano Trujillo remains confident.

April 17 vs. Houston Trujillo image

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

In 2009, it was eleven games before Chivas USA had
conceded six total goals. The Goats posted six shutouts during that stretch and
didn’t allow more than one goal in a game until May 23rd. They
boasted an impressive .54 goals-against average through week eleven.

This season, however, the Red-and-White have already tallied
six notches in the goals-allowed column. They’ve conceded multiple goals in
three of their first four matches and currently own a goals-against-average of
1.5.

What’s happening? Has the stalwart
Chivas USA
defense come undone?

No, insists Red-and-White
defender Mariano Trujillo.

“As a defense, we’re not playing badly,” said the veteran
right-back after practice on Tuesday. “The other teams have just been really
accurate. They’ve had just two or three chances, but they’re scoring one and
sometimes two. They’re playing well against us.”

There is certainly some truth to Trujillo’s
words. Chivas USA
has only allowed nine shots on net through four games, but opposing squads have
been impressively lethal with their limited opportunities. The Red-and-White’s
first four opponents (Colorado, Los Angeles, New
York, and Houston) combined for a staggering 66%
conversion rate on shots on net vs. goals made.

Last season, on the other hand, Chivas USA’s opponents
were far less accurate with their efforts. The Red-and-White’s first four
opponents in 2009 (Colorado, Dallas,
Columbus, and Los Angeles) combined for a much lower 18%
conversion rate on shots on net vs. goals made.

But not all of the Goats’ lack of success so far this season
may be attributed to the unusually high conversion rate of their opponents. The
team still has improvements to make.

“Obviously we have to improve on a lot of parts of our game,”
said Trujillo.
“I’d like to improve our possession with the ball. We can defend, but you
cannot defend for 90 minutes. That’s what happened in the last game. We were
defending too much. If we can defend with the ball at our feet by attacking the
other team, it will be better for us.”

That being said, Trujillo
remains confident in the Chivas USA defensive corps and its ability to improve
over the coming weeks.

“I think we have good communication,” said Trujillo. “Michael and Darío have been on the
[Costa Rica]
National Team together and they have good quality. We all know each other well
and we continue to get better.”