Vásquez: Chivas USA looking to regroup
CARSON, Calif. – The sting of Chivas USA’s tight 2-1 defeat in Toronto last weekend may still hang in the air for many of the Goats’ faithful, but the team has no time to waste feeling sorry for itself.
The Red-and-White welcome Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders FC to The Home Depot Center and must get back on track if they are to maintain any hope of a fifth consecutive postseason appearance.
“We want to regroup,” said Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez. “I felt that we took some of the consistent things we were doing for granted in the first 15 or 20 minutes against Toronto.
“We have to make sure that we focus on those little things, especially our concentration and being hard to play against in defense,” the gaffer added. “I felt that we did enough to come back and get a tie, but we came up short.”
The Goats have enjoyed a run of strong play lately. The team has lost just twice in its last 10 games and has finally found the on-field chemistry that it was so sorely lacking in the first half of the season.
“We felt that in that positive stretch that we had, we were consistent,” said Vásquez. “We did not make a big trouble about the [Toronto] loss. We just have to rebound and keep doing the same thing.”
Vásquez has streamlined his roster as the team heads toward autumn, sending Gerson Mayén, Chukwudi Chijindu and Maykel Galindo on loan to USSF-D2 teams and bringing LA Galaxy striker Alan Gordon to the Red-and-White.
“With this group that we have, it’s our group to finish the season and gives ourselves the best opportunity to finish strong,” said Vásquez. “If we lose somebody important, we may consider making a change, but right now we’re okay with the guys we have.”
Gordon, particularly, will be useful to a Goats squad that had just two natural strikers – Justin Braun and Giancarlo Maldonado – before his arrival.
“With Alan, we have another weapon to be strong up top,” said Vásquez. “That was the conversation with him. We’re going to take advantage of his dimension and he’s excited and happy to be here.
“[Gordon is] committed. He knows that he has to come in and earn a spot. He promised to give us his best, and that’s all we ask.”
Chivas USA kick off against Seattle this Saturday at 11 pm ET at The Home Depot Center, and will look remain the only Western Conference team never to have lost to the Sounders.