Chivas USA working hard to resume league play with a blast
CARSON, Calif. -- While the rest of the world may have turned its attention to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa for the next few weeks, Chivas USA players and coaches have not forgotten the task at hand.
The Goats’ MLS season resumes on June 26 with a game against FC Dallas, and the team is squarely focused on maintaining its sharpness during the World Cup break.
The Red-and-White finished the first part of the season on a five-game losing streak and will be eager to turn things around when league play returns.
“We’re going to work, work, and work,” said head coach Martín Vásquez. “That’s our only answer to turn this around. We’re going to have a short break as well, but while we’re here [at the Home Depot Center], we’re going to continue to work.”
Chivas USA have had a rough few weeks. After beating New England 4-0 on the road on May 5, the team slipped into a patch of poor form that was punctuated by losing three consecutive games (against Columbus, Salt Lake and D.C. United) in the final minutes of play.
“We need to regroup,” said striker Chukwudi Chijindu. “We’ve had some tough losses and that definitely affects the morale of the group. We need to regroup and come back strong.”
One of the things that the Red-and-White will be looking to fix is the team’s offense. The Goats have scored 13 goals so far this season, good for second-worst in the Western Conference, and have scored just six times in five games at home.
Compounding the troubles in attack will be the departure of midfield playmaker and team captain Sacha Kljestan, who was transferred to Belgian club Anderlecht on June 10.
“We need to create more chances so that we can get more shots,” said Chijindu. “If we’re only creating two chances, it’s tough to get goals. We need to have some more clear chances to be able to win games.”
On the upside, the World Cup break has provided Chivas USA with some much-needed down time after a grueling month of May that saw the team play six matches in just twenty-eight days.
“Some of our guys have been playing 90 minutes consistently, and our schedule has been tough,” said Vásquez. “The guys that have been playing with bruises and minor injuries have gotten a chance to rest. In general, I think this is a great chance to regroup and prepare for Dallas.”
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