Goats pack their bags
Saturday’s home match against the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center will be the final game for Chivas USA (5-7-8) before they embark on a tough road stretch of five games in a row; The significance of this match is an idea not lost amongst the team.
“It’s extremely important,” said Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser. “We embark on a very difficult August in terms of having to play away from home. The schedule is what it is and you have to take advantage of opportunities.”
The Rojiblancos await a Dynamo squad that earlier in the season won the first encounter, 2-1. Both teams come into their final regular-season meeting playing solid soccer, as both look to extend their unbeaten streaks to five.
In that span, Chivas USA has tied three and won one, as have the Dynamo.
“It’s a huge three points at home,” said midfielder Nick LaBrocca, who was named to the All-Star squad (defender Heath Pearce was also selected). “That’s our only focus. Playing in Houston is always tough and I think home field against them will help us a lot. It’s not a light game at all, it’s going to be a battle and we need to be ready for it.”
As the old football adage goes: the home team plays a goal better at home. And the Red and White hope to make that come to fruition.
Houston indeed was a goal better in the June 11th match, as the Goats could not rally from an own goal in the 55th minute.
“[All games] are important and home games are matches that must be won,” said the Costa Rican native and defender Michael Umaña. “I think there is an urgency and an obligation to get those three points. We’re going to come out in search of results.”
Last Saturday’s game did not fetch the results Umaña – who was amongst the starting 11 and celebrating his 29th birthday – and his teammates battled for, as they played New York to a scoreless tie.
Chivas USA ‘keeper Dan Kennedy, who has made a great case for himself with his stellar play between the posts to be among the All Stars, has allowed one goal in the team’s last three home games.