Fraser looking for answers as Chivas lose again
CARSON, Calif. – Match two of the Robin Fraser era ended very similar to match one, with Chivas USA on the wrong side of the score line on Saturday night in a 1-0 loss to Colorado. The Goats were left bemoaning missed opportunities and some questioning how far along the team has come mentally as they drop to 0-2-0 on the season.
“Through our lack of aggression, we didn’t take advantage of the space that we were given and had we done that, if we had that urgency then we could have gotten the ball to the forwards in better spots,” said Fraser. “For whatever reason, we were just too passive.”
Chivas USA started somewhat positively, but lost a bit of luster after midfielder Blair Gavin went down in the 28th minute, apparently re-injuring his left hamstring. With Gavin out, it took only four minutes for Colorado’s Quincy Amarikwa to put the defending MLS Cup champions ahead on the score sheet.
The Rojiblancos entered with a severely depleted backline as Michael Umana, Zarek Valentin and Andrew Boyens were all on international duty, forcing midfielder Ben Zemanski to take up a place alongside defender Jimmy Conrad in central defense. With a different look in the back line for a second consecutive match, Chivas appeared to struggle a bit with their communication.
In the midfield it was a different story. A physical Rapids side seemed to constantly come out ahead on 50-50 challenges, but Chivas dominated in possession. In spite of that, they could not connect to the lone forward Victor Estupinan.
True to form, Conrad was honest with what could cure the Rojiblancos early-season woes.
“It’s heartbreaking, when you do a lot of good things and still you have nothing to show for it,” said Conrad. “We need a win to give us that spark and tell us that we’re doing the right things. It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation because we’re a better team than our record indicates.”
Chivas USA will have little time to reflect on the disappointing result. On Monday, the team will travel to Portland ahead of a midweek US Open Cup qualifier against the Timbers.
The Rojiblancos will then travel to Toronto to face an energized TFC side at imposing BMO Field next weekend. With two matches on the road in two formidable locations, it appears as though Fraser will get a sense of far his team has come during his reign.
“This is where you really find out about a team, when you win everything is rosy, it’s when you lose that you find out what you’re made of,” said Fraser. “Do you come back and battle? Or do you point fingers and not accept responsibility? I think that we’re at an important point for this team and based on these last two performances, we need to see what our responses will be on Tuesday.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano