When things have gone bad for Chivas USA this year, they have snowballed into disasters.
Can the opposite hold true?
In this dark tunnel that has been the 2013 season for Chivas USA, there may be light up ahead. Momentum that began with a draw against New England continued with a pair of beneficial roster moves and carried over into Thursday's scoreless draw at FC Dallas.
Draws will not get the club back into playoff contention but for Chivas USA, at least for now, not losing is almost as good as a win.
Chivas have not won a league match since March but the way things are going, that may soon change. Chivas will head to Montreal on Sunday with renewed hope and vigor. The club nearly snared a victory against New England on Saturday but squandered a late lead and settled for a 1-1 draw.
While initially painful, the draw gave players renewed hope and optimism. It also gave manager Jose Luis Real something to build from. Against FC Dallas, the club seemed to learn from its previous mistakes and played well against the hosts, allowing just one shot on goal.
No losses in the last two matches, a road shutout for the first time this season, the return of Eric Avila, the arrival of Carlos Bocanegra... finally there are things to feel good about.
The trick now is to deal with the long flight to Montreal and try and take advantage of Montreal's own mistakes. Montreal has allowed seven goals in their last two games, including four in a home loss to Colorado Saturday.
Goals have been hard to come by but so have points, and Chivas have snatched two of those in two games. Perhaps Avila can help break the club's scoring woes. Avila returned from a monthlong trial with Guadalajara and immediately returned to the starting lineup. Avila's presence was beneficial and combined with the return of suspension by Tristan Bowen on Sunday, the two could break through Impact's suddenly-vulnerable backline.
Momentum is slowly coming around Chivas' way. Things certainly snowballed quickly in their favor in March. After opening the season with a poor loss, Chivas went on a four-match unbeaten streak, highlighted by a 4-1 thrashing of Chicago. The bottom fell out after that of course, as Chivas embarked on a fateful stretch of games in April and May that ultimately cost Jose Luis "Chelis" Sanchez Sola his job.
Now, though, the club is slowly coming out of it and the hope is that just as quickly as things got out of hand, things will turn for the positive. Players have to believe that. There has been so little to feel good about that a road shutout and two consecutive draws have to feel like lifelines for the club. To throw that away with a poor performance against Montreal would be a step back.
The focus now has to be on the task at hand. Montreal is up first, then another tricky road game at PPL Park against Philadelphia on July 12. Even two draws in those two games would be progress.
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