Chivas USA desperate for points against DC United

Goats look to rebound in a battle between cellar-dwellers


CARSON, Calif. -- For Chivas USA, Memorial Day weekend is all about points.

The Goats haven’t produced a victory since May 5th and are currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference. The team will travel to DC this Saturday to take on Eastern Conference bottom-feeders DC United, and will be in a desperate search for a positive result.

“This game is really important,” said defender Mariano Trujillo. “We can’t leave any more points on the field. We’ve been playing well, but that’s not enough. We have to get goals.”

Chivas USA has suffered from a lack of focus recently, conceding game-changing goals in the final moments in both of the team’s last two matches. The Red-and-White will be looking for a better overall effort against DC.

“We’re going to need a good effort for 95 minutes,” said head coach Martín Vásquez. “In the last two games, it hasn’t been clear that we’ve been able to do it for 88 minutes and then 89 minutes. This is our opportunity to get out of this hole that we dug ourselves into.”

The team has endured some tough training sessions this week in an effort to regain that focus. Scrimmages were played at a very high level and the players were put through a number of fitness drills.

“We’re having a lack of concentration,” said Trujillo. “So we have to change something. We have to work on that intensity. It means staying focused during practices, even if you’re tired. That’s what’s going to help in the game against DC.”

A helpful boost for Chivas USA will be the return of team captain Sacha Kljestan, who just missed a spot on the US World Cup roster. His will be a welcome presence for a side that has scored the second fewest number of goals in the Western Conference.

But if the Goats are to finally get back to winning ways this weekend, it will take more than the effort of just one player to get the result.

“Once you find yourself against the wall, then the intensity rises,” said Vásquez. “We have to play knowing that we need to get the result. It’s not about playing pretty – we have to be loyal and consistent to our style of play, yes, but we have to find a way to be competitive and get the result.”