Chivas USA faced a similar experience for the second week in a row, as they lost by a goal in a game that they also picked up a straight red card. This time, the result was a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium, as Yannick Djalo scored on an admittedly nice half-volley in the 66th minute to give the hosts the lead, and ultimately the win.
The game will be remembered more than anything for Dan Kennedy's red card, which he picked up in the 77th minute for intentionally handling the ball outside the box. On one hand, he prevented what seemed a sure goal from Alan Gordon, so he sacrificed his spot on the field to keep the ball out of the back of the net. On the other hand, they were already down in the game, and now he's got to sit out the next match, too.
Here are some talking points coming out of the match:
Coming full circle? This team is starting to resemble Robin Fraser's team through 2011 and the first half of 2012. Chivas can hang in matches, but they lose more often than not, and the refrain becomes, "Well, we played pretty well, even though we lost."
I get it. Admittedly, I would rather see them lose by just a goal than by four or five goals. But it's not easy to see why the question itself is a problem. Chivas have been picking up draws quite a bit of late, and in fact this game broke the string of earning a point every other match, but there's an awful lot of losing. The season's starting to resemble 2013, in that the wins aren't coming, the losses are piling up, and morale is taking a nosedive, fast.
Great, another red card: Another unfortunate holdover from 2013 is the rate at which the Goats are picking up red cards. Ok, so we can discuss the validity of the team's first two red cards this season, though Kennedy's is about as obvious as it gets. Still, the reds are standing, and they aren't helping Chivas, both in the games themselves and regarding Chivas' reputation around the league.
I don't think we're at a point where we can declare this group has a problem with discipline. If we say the ejections to Agustin Pelletieri and Marky Delgado were debatable, and Kennedy's was a move of desperation to prevent a goal, not injure an opponent, then the deeds themselves aren't indicating a worrying trend. Let's just hope this year's team doesn't turn to stomping on or spitting at opponents before long, or it really will be deja vu.
Chivas were in this game: In hindsight, this game was disappointing, no doubt, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Chivas were actually in it nearly the whole way. Not only that, but they actively controlled the game at times, especially in the first half. If they had been able to bury at least one chance, of course the game would have turned out differently, most likely. Look, the reality in soccer is that games like these happen, that even when a team plays pretty well they can still lose. But when viewed in the context of a seven-game winless streak, the frustration mounts and it does get harder to shrug one's shoulders over the result.
Looking ahead: Chivas are back at home next Saturday, and will host the Houston Dynamo for those teams' only meeting of the season. The Dynamo haven't played yet this weekend, but they have been pretty bad lately, so maybe Chivas can finally get another win. We'll be sure to have more coverage of tonight's match in the coming days before turning our attention to the Houston game.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!