Squandering a surprisingly strong start to the season, Chivas USA displayed its familiar defensive frailties Saturday in a second straight loss that sent its record to 3-3-1 in succumbing 1-0 to Real Salt Lake and plunging down the standings after starting the day sitting in second place in the Western Conference.
Midfielder Edgar Mejia had an eventful day he won’t soon forget, missing a penalty kick and then getting himself sent off as the game wound down, pointlessly and blantantly throwing an elbow in midfield that encapsulated Chivas USA’s frustrating day.
Chivas USA produced a comedy of errors in conceding the game’s lone goal, giving the ball away inside RSL’s half before back pedaling and ball watching their way to a one-goal deficit.
Next for Chivas USA: San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Home Depot Center
Quotable: “It was a well-deserved loss,” said Chivas USA coach Chelis via an interpreter. “We did not put a fight. We did not have enough strength and believe me, I’m very happy with the loss because this is a sport, and in sports, the one who’s more decisive is the one who takes the win. Today, my team wasn’t decisive, we didn’t have ideas and we presented a poor performance.”
I’ll spare you the lowlights. Here is the game’s pivotal moment:
The undefeated third-place Galaxy (2-0-2) face Western Conference-topping FC Dallas (4-1-1) at 4:30 p.m. PT Saturday on the NBC Sports Network despite what the posters for the nationally televised game above read (reflecting the kickoff time on the East Coast and local time).
No posters for high-scoring Chivas USA (3-1-1) because their 7:30 p.m. Saturday encounter in Carson against the lowly Colorado Rapids (1-3-2) is not televised.
In other televised games, Arsenal and Norwich City (with Lawndale’s Kei Kamara) clash at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, while later at 3 p.m. Cruz Azul and Club Tijuana meet on ESPN2.
Staff Writer Phil Collin asks whether this is an early-season novelty act or represents a new reality for the club after Saturday’s win over Vancouver in Carson (featuring one lucky Chivas USA goal and one well-taken strike) in his game story.
And while the Chicago Fire capitulated pitifully Sunday, Chivas USA still had to take their chances in the 4-1 win before fewer than 10,000 — and did so admirably (Juan Agudelo’s international class goal that showcased his timing, strength and finesse is especially worth checking out below).
Chivas USA coach Chelis appreciated the gift: “We had a lot of luck. We won because we scored goals, it is as simple as that. I never thought I would have told you this but we won because we scored two goals. They played with a lot of bad luck, a lot of bad luck. They did a lot to try and score the first half and nothing. We had five opportunities, and scored on four.”