Preparing to face Seattle
CARSON, Calif. – Having taken a point from their most recent match, Chivas USA returned to training with a dose of reality.
One point from Colorado was better than nothing, but not for much else.
“It’s always a positive to take points out of a game you didn’t play very well,” Chivas skipper Danny Califf said. “For us going forward a point is not going to be good enough and certainly the way we played is not going to be good enough.”
The club began their preparations for Saturday’s home match against Seattle with two things in mind: improve the effort from the 1-1 draw against the Rapids, and put themselves in a position to take more points away from matches. The two seemingly go hand in hand. If nothing else then, last match served as a bit of a wake-up call.
“In Colorado we thought we didn’t play our best game,” Chivas midfielder Shalrie Joseph said. “We didn’t leave it all on the field.”
Perhaps the club took that bit to heart and immediately set to work on that. Chivas ran through a longer-than-usual training session that saw some harder-than-usual physicality. Joseph was one of a handful of players to not emerge unscathed.
At least for Joseph, that was a good thing.
“Guys are a little bit physical the first day back,” said Joseph, with ice on his knee. “Always good to get in a little bit of tackles and get in some physical battles.”
Battling is something the club has been used to, and while the team did well to weather the mental storm last time out, improvement elsewhere is necessary as well.
“We showed character and grit but at the same time the soccer has to get better if we want to become a playoff team,” Chivas defender James Riley said. “Guys put a good day in… guys are coming out and working hard every day which is good. We’re continuing trying to fix some things.”
The week’s work will culminate with a match against one of the league’s top teams as Seattle will visit Home Depot Center for the second time this season. The Sounders will pose a challenge but the work the team puts in this week is what matters most for Chivas, and what will continue to supersede anything else.
“We have to worry about us. We can’t worry about any other results,” Riley said. “We have to concentrate on ourselves.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @RunnerLuis