Washington D.C. Chivas USA travelled to the District of Columbia to take on Eastern Conference D.C. United (DCU). After the last five games, the Goats have won four in a row and tied on the first one to equal 13 out of a total 15 total points through five matches. Tonight saw Chivas attempt to win five in a row when DCU's Eddie Johnson nailed his 3rd goal of the season in the match's 25th minute off a penalty kick.
Eddie Johnson was not silenced after his score as he assisted in the 59th minute with Perry Kitchen's strike to place DCU up 2-0 in order to secure the win and three points. Within eleven minutes, DCU added a third goal when Luis Silva finished off a pass from Chris Korb to mark the insurmountable 3-0 lead that deflated Chivas' current four-game winning streak.
In spite of a 3-0 deficit, Chivas USA continued to keep fighting. They finally got on the board in the 84tth minute as Erick Torres knocked in a penalty kick to cut it to a two-point deficit. Cubo's sixth straight game with a goal would hardly be enough to keep the Goats competitive as the tale often goes, "too little, too late."
The DCU initial score would be all that they would need in order to secure ome points and end Chivas' five-game points streak. Nevertheless, the Goats showed that they are a force to be reckoned with as they continue to remain in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot.
Here's what we learned from tonight's match:
Possess the ball. If a club doesn't control the ball, then they have very little chance of success. More often than not, Chivas USA have been in a disproportionate time of possession when compared with their opponents. Throughout the first half, the Goats were outpossessed at a rate of 2:1. Directly and indirectly, a squad can have very little expectations of securing any points whatsoever while having such a negative differential.
Crossbars. Umm... Without question, a goalkeeper's best friend can be the goalpost. In this match, Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy had an exceptional match. However, the Goats' captain was certainly aided by the crossbar of two first-half shots from DC off Chris Rolfe and Eddie Johnson (who could've certainly helped the USMNT in Brazil during the World Cup after the injury sustained by Jozy Altidore). Both of DCU's shots banged off the crossbar into favorable Chivas position so that both were able to advanced forward. It goes without saying that luck can influence a match and these missed certainly played a significant role in keeping Chivas USA competitive throughout the match.
Bill Hamid. When Jurgen Klinsmann became the Head Coach of the U.S. Men's National Team, he immediately named Bill Hamid as the future of the squad. Almost every single match replicated Tim Howard as the starter and DCU's Hamid as his immediate backup. Then the Olympic Qualifying occurred where both Hamid and the Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson struggled to keep the ball out of the net which directly resulted in the U.S. not even qualifying for the Olympics
With that said, Bill Hamid has clearly rebounded and made the most of his opportunities. His efforts have been beyond instrumental in helping DCU regain their form and are now leading the Eastern Conference playoff race. Hamid has exceptional talent and now appears to be combining it with massive insight and smarts that clearly place him among MLS' elite goalkeeper talents. Put this dude on both the MLS All-Star Squad and the USMNT because he's clearly able to contribute. Now.
Focus. Even wining match after match require enormous attention to detail. Chivas USA were coming off a four-game winning streak which they obviously hoped to continue this evening against DCU. Goals, objectives and results are often dissimilar ends as teams attempt to reconcile their hopes with the stark realities that often exist. Tonight, our Goats were clearly outplayed at RFK Stadium. Even Goat Carlos Bocanegra had to embrace and laugh with former USMNT teammate Eddie Johnson at this match's cessation.
All good things eventually come to an end. As is the case with Chivas' five straight games of receiving points. Tonight, Bill Hamid and DCU proved to be too much and annihilated the Goats 3-1 in a match that was never even close to being close. Hopefully, the Rojiblancos regroup and prepare for Friday's match at the Colorado Rapids.