Chivas USA a team of two halves

Goats came on in 2nd half vs. Dallas, but slow start key in loss

CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA fell to a Western Conference-leading 11th loss on Saturday, dropping a tight 1-0 decision to red-hot FC Dallas. The match was another in what has become a long list of near-misses for the Red-and-White this season.

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The team has struggled, particularly, to find offensive chemistry in the first half. The Goats’ attack is prone to sluggish starts and have scored half as many goals before halftime (seven) as they have after it (15). Saturday was no different, with the team failing to find cohesion in the first half but pushing hard in the second.

“We had a poor first half,” Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez said. “We created chances in the second half, but I thought [FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman] came up big and we couldn’t put one away. Overall, a good second half, but where we are, we can’t afford to not be good in the first half.”

Saturday’s game saw the Red-and-White battle a FC Dallas side that hadn’t lost in nine games. Add to that the stifling Texas heat and Chivas USA’s trip was a daunting one indeed.

“We knew that we were playing against a very good team,” Vásquez said. “They’re playing well and they’re a good team. Our mentality was good. Maybe at first, we couldn’t settle down because of the heat, but our guys responded well. We finished running and fighting and creating chances.”

Chivas USA’s best opportunties came in the second half, when Costa Rican center backs Dario Delgado and Michael Umana each put incisive headers on net that were only barely kept out by Hartman.

“I thought those chances were very good, but Hartman came up big,” Vásquez said. “We were better with the ball getting behind them and combining well, and the difference is that they put it in and we didn’t.”

The Goats currently sit in last place in the conference with just 19 points from 20 games. But with a third of the season left to go, nobody in the Chivas USA camp is throwing in the towel just yet.

“We have to come out and push and chase the game,” Vásquez said. “That’s the approach we have for every game. [On Saturday], there was an urgency to get a win for three points. We have to regroup during the week and get ready for our next game.”

Chivas USA will host D.C. United on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET at the Home Depot Center..