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Key Observations from Chivas USA's loss to Sporting Kansas City

The luster may be gone, but no reason not to discuss the bad, the sad, and the optimistic.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In case you didn't notice, there was a game played yesterday and no, I'm not talking about that relevant Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake match up at Century Link Field. This one involved a team that might only have 6 weeks left to live.

With the news of the potential demise of Chivas USA for the 2015 season, watching the game was a pretty somber experience, similar to that same feeling I had when the last episode of "Fresh Prince" aired on TV, watching Carlton do his last Tom Jones dance before he left the house.

But I digress.

It's only fitting that the news of the potential sale of the club occurs before a match up Sporting Kansas City. For those new to the league, SKC was one off the original 10 MLS teams and had relative success early on, winning the MLS Cup in 2000 and have a series of Conference championships to its name. The luster wore off and the team went through a tough stretch soon afterward, missing out on the playoffs four of the next six seasons.

Lucky for them, in came the rebrand and the rest is history. SKC resurrected itself as a perennial contender, has some of the league's brightest stars, and has solidified its status as one of the league's best teams after winning the 2013 MLS Cup.

Back to Chivas. The Goats are essentially a 10-year expansion team that was poorly planned out when it started, poorly run when it existed, and it's demise was so poorly planned out that we're now sitting here staring a potential 1-2 year hiatus right in the face.

Chivas USA fans are now wondering what they did to deserve all this, but its refreshing to let SKC remind us that a complete turnaround for the better is entirely possible.

Anyhow, life goes on and there's six games left in this season. Here are a few observations from Friday Night's 0-4 thrashing against SKC. (How depressing was that? But if you're still reading CUSA game recaps, I guess you're used to it.)

Where's Calvert? - Despite the current mess both on and off the field in Goatland, one of the few bright spots remains the potential of Caleb Calvert. Calvert rose through the Chivas Youth Academy and at 16 years of age, signed as a homegrown player with the club before the start of the season. He has yet to play a minute with the senior squad and it only makes sense that he gets a shot in these final six games.

First Goal Set the Tone - Take a look at the defending on the first goal allowed. CUSA players are aggressive yet erratic on their tackling or not closing down at all. There's a lot of chasing and reacting going on here and the play ends in SKC exploiting a high line with no one marking Dom Dwyer. It's almost too easy. SKC advanced the length of the field with 5 completed passes in the span of 13 seconds.

Defensive Lapse on the Throughball - Among other things, by now we know CUSA struggles defending skill players, set pieces, and through balls. On their 2nd goal, SKC made them play with a skillfully played throughball down the middle that gave them the insurance goal just before halftime.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado doesnt stay close enough to Dwyer, which causes Tony Lochhead to collapse, which in turn leaves Antonio Dovale wide open for a shot. You can actually see Lochhead turn his head to keep any eye on Dwyer, but is forced to close out on the ball instead.

Another not-so-good streak - With the loss, the current losing streak sits at 5 games, tied for 3rd all-time and only two off the record set in 2012 and 2013. If CUSA cant find a way to avoid a loss in their next match against a struggling Toronto side, they'll face an uphill battle with the likes of Seattle and Salt Lake in the following two games. Lose all three and this 2014 squad etches its name into the team's history books with eight straight.

When it Rains it Pours - In their last four games, CUSA have given up 14 goals and haven't kept an opposing team under three goals in a match. The bright side is that the goals allowed have followed a sort of pattern: 3,4,3,4 and so the logical next result will probably end in CUSA "only" giving up 3.


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