Angel back to help Rojiblancos hold serve at home
CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act is, at this point, fairly well documented. They’ve put up three straight victories on the road, best in the league, but their home form is downright tragic: Three losses, no goals, no points, and a grumbling fanbase.
So a victory over the Philadelphia Union at the Home Depot Center on Saturday (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) would not only make for the franchise’s first three-game winning streak since 2009, but is, quite simply, a must.
“We need it, dropping three at home is definitely something to be forgotten so we’re just going to try to play hard for each other and just be sharper. The toughest thing to do is winning on the road, now it’s just getting over that mental hurdle at home,” said midfielder Nick LaBrocca. “It would be huge. Usually you rely on your home games, and you can’t always rely on going on the road and getting every result that you can. Getting those results at home will be huge for us if we want to make the playoffs.”
Chivas’ bid for their first home win at home will be bolstered by the return of striker Juan Pablo Angel. After concussion symptoms kept the Colombian forward out of the club’s last five matches, Angel passed his final test and was cleared by the league’s protocol system on Friday afternoon.
Angel trained at times with the first team during the club’s training session on Thursday, but will need to beat out incumbent Alejandro Moreno for the starting spot up front.
But for the veteran who has been itching to return to the field, a victory at home would go a long way in boosting not just his confidence, but the confidence of the club.
“This sport is about confidence and knowing and feeling that you can believe and do anything and in the team that we can get results,” Angel recently told MLSsocer.com. “We’ve gotten results in places where not many teams have gotten results, but obviously that has to be a real encouragement for us and knowing and having the belief that we can beat anybody especially at home.”
A result at home against the Union won’t be easy, as Philadelphia arrive at the HDC undefeated in their last two matches and fresh off their first victory of the season, beating the Columbus Crew 1-0 last weekend.
Nonetheless they’ve struggled on the offensive end, tallying just three goals
“They are well-coached and their coach wears his heart on his sleeve so that’s how the team performs and plays,” defender James Riley told MLSsoccer.com of the Union. “We’ll be in for a gritty performance and it’ll be a physical battle for the right to play, but it’s important to win your home games and we can do that Saturday with a good performance.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org