Chivas hoping lightning strikes again vs. NY
CARSON, Calif. — Last summer, Chivas USA had lost five consecutive MLS matches when the team finally snapped its losing streak by beating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on August 15.
This season, the Goats will once again be looking to dig themselves out of a hole against the Red Bulls when they face the Eastern Conference foe this Saturday in New York. And with four losses in their last four games, the Red-and-White are in desperate need of points before the impending World Cup break.
“The team is focused,” Chivas USA striker Chukwudi Chijindu said. “We have to get back to doing the little things that made us successful at the start of the season. We need to do our best and work hard to get out this hole.”
The Goats have already faced off against New York once this season, relying on an own-goal from goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and a 90th minute strike from Jesus Padilla for 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center on April 10.
“[That win] gives us a better idea of what we can do to win the game,” said Chijindu. “But that was early in the season, and now they’re at home. They’re going to have more energy and we are going to have to match that.”
Of primary concern for Chivas USA will be containing New York captain Juan Pablo Ángel, whose six goals so far this season tie him for third-most in MLS. Having scored in each of the Red Bulls’ last two games, the Colombian-born striker will likely be brimming with confidence on Saturday.
“Ángel is always an issue,” said Chijindu. “He’s great in the air and an experienced player. They also have a couple other guys that give good service. I think we’re just going to have to neutralize their key guys and do our best to play our game.”
Giving a boost to Chivas USA, however, is the return of Maykel Galindo. The Cuban native had been sidelined with a sprained ankle but returned to action last weekend with a goal against DC United.
“I’m happy to be back working with the group,” said Galindo. “It’s nice to be able to try and help the team as we get through this rough patch. It all depends on us. We know what we have to do to get a result and it’s up to us to do it.”
The trip will be Chivas USA’s first to New York’s brand new Red Bull Arena, and the Goats will certainly be looking to christen their inaugural visit to the new ground with a win.
“I’ve heard it’s a great facility,” said Chijindu. “But a great facility is nothing if you can’t get a victory in it.”