The 2014 season is in the books, and Chivas USA's history is complete. How did this last season ultimately rank, against the rest of the league and against the team's history?
Let's start with the not-so-good, to get that out of the way first. The Goats scored the fewest goals in MLS, with just 29. That's a horrible 0.85 goals per game average over the course of the season. The other 18 teams had at least 1 goal per game average, and the LA Galaxy actually averaged more than 2 goals per game.
Frankly, if Erick Torres and his 15 goals wasn't part of the team, there's a strong case to be made that the Goats may have been in the running for lowest goals total in a season all-time mark, which was set by D.C. United in 2010 with just 21 (though they only played 30 games back then).
And for the team's history, the 29 goals scored this season represents the second-worst mark, behind 2012's real effort at breaking the mark for futility, when they scored just 24. Goals were really at a premium with this team the past few seasons.
However, Torres scored the most goals in a season by a Chivas USA, with 15, beating out Ante Razov's mark from 2006.
Ok, so what about the other side of the ball? Uh...not much brighter, unfortunately. They did not finish last in the league in goals allowed, as the clean sheet in their final match meant that the Colorado Rapids pipped them to the post, with 62 goals let in to the Goats' 61. There were other teams thereabouts, but those were the only two teams to crack 60 goals overall.
Historically, the 61 let in is second-worst ever, behind 2005 and 2013's tag-team of awfulness of 67 goals allowed in each of those seasons. 2012's 58 is close to that pack of futility, but otherwise, Chivas were actually decent in their defense other years.
Although Chivas finished out of the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season in 2014, they did finish higher, 7th place in the West, than they have since 2009, the last time they made the postseason, when they finished fourth. After the final game, coach Wilmer Cabrera and the players were pleased to have clawed their way to 7th place, especially when it looked like they were doomed to finish in the basement once again.
The four-game winning streak in July was CUSA's longest since 2008, and let's be honest, winning streaks of any kind were unusual in recent years.
You may recall that Chivas won three out of four games in October as well. The last time they picked up points in October was 2012, when they got two draws to halt their horrible losing streak. The last time they actually won in October prior to this year was 2010, when they downed Toronto FC.
Most notably, this was Chivas USA's best October ever. They had never before won three games in that calendar month.
One Chivas USA player, Oswaldo Minda, led the league in a statistical category: yellow cards, with 12. Yep, the Ecuadorian racked up the most in the league for the second time in three seasons, and this time around, he only played 20 games in the regular season.
As a team, the Goats were whistled for the second-most fouls in MLS for the second year in a row, with 488 to Sporting Kansas City's 499. SKC had the most fouls last season, too.
Overall, it can't be called Chivas USA's best season, nor can it be called their worst. Nobody could claim 2014 was successful, but there were a few bright spots and reasons for happiness, if fleeting.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!