You probably don't need a reminder, but Chivas USA have had five home matches at the Home Depot Center, and have failed to earn a point there this season. But an interesting development is emerging, not only on Chivas' side, but also with the LA Galaxy. After losing 1-0 in a "marquee" matchup against the New York Red Bulls Saturday, the Galaxy has only taken seven points out of a possible 18 in league play. Add to that the only other competitive match played this year, when the Galaxy hosted Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League in March, and lost 2-1, and the two Los Angeles MLS teams have wracked up seven points out of a possible 33 in league play at the Home Depot Center in league play in 2012, and lost the only knockout match at home.
I think it's time we ask the obvious question: who ordered the voodoo master? Who buried the bad luck charm under the pitch in the offseason?My money is on somebody associated with the Houston Dynamo. They lost MLS Cup last fall to the Galaxy at the HDC, but more than that, their supporters got banned after setting off smoke bombs and throwing items on the field at the end of the 2011 MLS Cup. They also played Chivas to open this season, so you know, just to sweeten the deal, they could have tried to curse both sides in one fell swoop. If that was the aim, it has worked like gangbusters so far.
No, of course I don't really think there's a bad luck charm hidden under the HDC field. But I think it gives at least a little perspective to Chivas' struggles at home this season. The Galaxy have a better home record (2-3-1) than road record (1-2-0) so far this year, but Chivas have obviously done better away from the HDC (0-5-0 at home, 3-1-0 away). Still, considering the assumed gap in quality between the clubs, the struggles each team is facing is rather surprising. It does make one wonder if there's something else at work.
The big issue is that the fans ultimately suffer when a team struggles so badly at home. Obviously, this is not a new concern for Chivas in 2012, and the pressure will continue to ratchet up until the team finally gets a result. And while it doesn't make much of a difference what the Galaxy are doing (except in the standings), this is an anomalous trend to start the season, and one that seems to be affecting both teams.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!