Toronto FC's winless streak against Chivas USA is over, as they beat the Goats 3-0 at BMO Field on Sunday. Jackson opened the scoring with a deflected shot past Dan Kennedy in the 23rd minute, and former Chivas USA forward Luke Moore of course scored one of his own, in first half stoppage time. Gilberto added a third in the 54th minute, and TFC beat CUSA for the first time since August 2010.
Jackson and Nigel Reo-Coker engaged in a fight midway through the second half, which led to the ejection of both in the 66th minute. Both guys were at fault for letting the confrontation escalate, but I think they are both likely to see MLS Disciplinary Committee scrutiny this week, and that's just silly for NRC, who's supposed to provide veteran leadership to a team that has no direction.
Let's discuss some of the talking points coming out of the game:
Chivas playing like the team is going out of business: Very few teams have had to deal with the organization-shaking upheaval Chivas USA has had. And they've done it twice, arguably three times in three years. There is a malaise around the club, no matter what they say publicly about how they aren't paying attention to the stories about the team possibly going on hiatus.
If the team won't exist next year, then what is the true motivation to produce right now? The team is so collectively bad that no player can say he is the sole cause of the Goats' problems. Never has a team been as motivated to play out the string as this club, and it shows.
But mentality isn't the sole problem: A winning team cannot be built in a season. Oh, wait, D.C. United have done exactly that, from a season that was worse than Chivas'. Well, so much for that.
Of course, it isn't easy to build a winning team in a season, but this latest rebuild, like the last four that have preceded it, is not working. They had a shoestring budget, which certainly compounded the problem, but the roster continues to have the same fundamental problem, with the team stratified between being really old and really young. Let's say, arbitrarily, for the sake of argument, the prime age of an MLS player's career is between 25-29. Four players, out of 28 currently on the roster, sit in that age range. Come on now.
I've got a lot to say about this, so expect an article coming at some point soon. But suffice to say, the players have been put in a bad spot, as there just isn't enough talent on this team to compete.
Four absences really cramp this team: The verdict is in - when Erick Torres, Carlos Bocanegra, Martin Rivero, and perhaps Thomas McNamara (as a rookie, it's hard to extrapolate how his season would have gone had he stayed healthy) are all out, this team loses so much. Would the season have been different if all four were able to play every game? Yes. They wouldn't have won many more games, but they wouldn't have been quite this bad. It may be splitting hairs, but this rudderless performance proves Chivas could have been better in so many ways. What a wasted opportunity.
Looking ahead: Chivas will play the Seattle Sounders in Seattle next Saturday. The Sounders tend to crush CUSA, so hoo boy.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!