Chivas USA proving their worth to themselves
CARSON, Calif. – Throughout the early part of the 2011 season, Chivas USA have been a team in search of goals. While they've frequently controlled possession, they've struggled in the final third of the field while eking out scoreless draws.
On Saturday night, the goals finally came as Chivas USA earned their first victory of the year at home with a 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution. It was a win that extended the Rojiblancos' unbeaten streak to five matches.
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Spurred on by the leadership of forward Alejandro Moreno, who combined well with MLS newcomer Marcos Mondaini, the Goats were able to consistently find holes in the Revolution defense. In particular, Moreno found the most success, scoring a goal and notching two assists on the night.
“We’ve had the energy [in the past], but perhaps we haven’t had the composure,” Moreno said postgame. “But today, we were able to create the opportunities. It was a thorough performance by us in the final third and, not only did we score three goals, but we created a few more chances after that. It was one of those nights that you feel good about and look to build upon.”
As the night wore on and the Rojiblancos continued to dominate possession, Moreno was able to combine well with Mondaini, who was his partner up front for the fifth consecutive match. With the forward position being a source of contention for the Rojiblancos, the pair were able to stake their claim for starting spots for the foreseeable future.
But the night belonged to Moreno, who was able to outwork the Revolution defense by setting up numerous scoring opportunities with timely crosses and possession.
While the crafty veteran may have excelled at the possession game, he was rewarded with a goal on after capitalizing on a poorly timed Revolution back pass that he confidently finished for the emphatic third goal of the night.
“He’s been extremely solid all year long and is such a critical piece of leadership on this team, even if you don’t think of your forward as being that way,” said Chivas USA head coach Fraser following the match.
“He’s the kind of guy that does all the dirty work to make his team win and it’s not about him our his glory – he could care less about that, and tonight was one where he did a lot of the dirty work and was obviously extremely productive.”
Chivas USA will now look to build upon this result as they look to a difficult stretch that starts with a trip to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake on May 7. That match opens a brutal month that also includes trips to Red Bull Arena and Crew Stadium, with the SuperClasico against the LA Galaxy sandwiched in between.
For a Chivas USA team in full rebuilding mode, though, Saturday night’s victory wasn’t just a confidence-builder, it was a statement to themselves as to how far the team has progressed throughout the early part of the season.
“We don’t care about making a statement to the league,” said Moreno. “We validate our performances to ourselves. We only answer to ourselves.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano