Anybody who has watched Chivas USA this season knows that they have suffered from the lack of a dynamic forward. Sure, Justin Braun has had two outstanding games, and has scored seven times this season, but he's only scored in three whole games. Alejandro Moreno has five goals, good for third on the team (behind Braun and Nick LaBrocca) but he missed significant time while away with Venezuela's National Team and it is unclear if he will be able to contribute goals regularly for the remainder of the season. For the rest of Chivas' forwards, a combined three goals have been scored, all by Marcos Mondaini, who appears to have fallen out of favor with Robin Fraser.
As I was perusing the team statistics for the league, I found some interesting results concerning the Goats. My overall conclusion? Chivas need a striker. Take a look at what I found:Goals scored: Chivas are tied for 6th in team goals scored. Despite feeling like the team doesn't score enough, that is a healthy position.
Team assists: The Goats are third in the league in assists, behind only the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas. A surprising, and impressive statistic, indicating that the team is adept at setting each other up for goals. Well done!
Team shots: Chivas are 11th in this category, so right in the middle of the pack, as their record indicates.
Team shots on goal: A more significant stat than shots, Chivas are tied for 6th in this category, meaning when they shoot, they are more often on goal than some of the other squads.
Team fouls conceded: Chivas are 15th, meaning they either aren't as clumsy as other teams, or less willing to get stuck in. Considering one of our players broke an opponent's ankle on a tackle this season, the lack of willingness to foul constantly is pretty understandable, and frankly reasonable.
Team fouls suffered: Chivas are in 16th place, which indicates they are either too fast to be fouled or not particularly dangerous. The squad has some speed, especially from Jorge Flores, but nobody would put him in the short list of fastest MLS players. To me, this stat means other teams don't think Chivas are dangerous enough to foul consistently. In other words, a player who draws fouls (while hopefully avoiding injury, of course) would be a big addition for Chivas.
Team offside: This is a huge statistic to indicate Chivas need a dynamic striker. The Goats rank dead last in offside in the league. Braun (13 times) and Moreno (9 times) have been called offside most on the team, not surprisingly, but a player who can play on the last defender's shoulder, like Chicharito, is a very dangerous striker indeed. Of course, getting called for offside a lot can just be a really annoying habit, but it can also show players are trying to play onside as closely as possible.
Corner kicks: Demonstrating their ability to work hard as a team in the offensive third, Chivas rank fifth in the league in corner kicks. Somewhat surprisingly, the Galaxy sit just behind Chivas in this category.
Penalty kick attempts/conversions: Chivas continue to be last in this category, tied with the San Jose Earthquakes with no attempts, and therefore no conversions. Along with ranking low with fouls suffered and offside, the lack of PKs means Chivas lack somebody (usually a striker) with the ability to draw penalties. As I have mentioned before, despite the poor reputation some forwards in the league, like Charlie Davies and Alvaro Saborio, have gotten for their perceived penchant for diving to draw penalties, I don't condone Chivas players hitting the deck when the wind picks up to try and get a call. However, I do think it is necessary to have a player who scares opposing defenders enough to make them clumsy and foul in the box, and the fact is that Chivas don't have a player like that at the moment.
What do you think of this evidence? Is it convincing? Missing something big? Dead wrong? Leave a comment below.