The scoreline was the same, but there was something of a different feeling on Saturday, as Chivas USA fell 4-2 to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. The score was the same as the last time the teams met, on September 3, but it seemed like there was a new atmosphere surrounding the game from a Goats' perspective. Did that mean the team played better or that our attitudes have thoroughly adjusted? Probably a bit of both, to be honest.
Chivas actually took the lead twice in the game, first in the 12th minute, when Erick Torres, in his first appearance with the club in five games, scored his record-breaking 15th goal of the season as he took advantage of a free ball in the box off a rebound after Stefan Frei saved Felix Borja's shot, turned for open space and scored into the wide open net. It was great, really great to see him back on the scoresheet. But Obafemi Martins pegged the Goats back just two minutes later for his first goal of the day.
Surprise of all surprises, Chivas scored again, in the 18th minute. Chivas took a counterattack the length of the field, with Leandro Barrera unleashing a rocket that rattled off the crossbar. Cubo got the ball in the box once more, but with no clear angle to shoot, he sent a centering pass over to Borja, who pushed the ball in. Unfortunately, Jalil Anibaba has been credited with the own goal on the play, which means Borja won't get to count the tally, unless the goal call is reviewed and changed after the fact. At any rate, CUSA had a 2-1 lead.
That held until the 37th minute, when Seattle tied it up again courtesy of a well-placed goal on a solo run by Lamar Neagle. They took the lead for good in first half stoppage time from Clint Dempsey, and then Martins added an insurance goal, and his second of the day in the 51st minute to wrap it up.
So what can we make of this? Is it better to push it in the first half and really give it a go, or give the best effort in the second half (if one must choose one half or the other)? I'd rather see them go for it from the top, even though they finished the Sept. 3 game with more goals in the second half then they did in this one, but that was because the game was over in the first half of that one. In contrast, Chivas didn't play very well in the second half in this game, but the game was far more competitive this time around.
Let's do some bullet points of good and bad:
- Cubo scored
- Cubo broke the season scoring record for Chivas USA
- Somebody other than Cubo scored, too, even if he didn't get credit for the goal
- Chivas took the lead twice
- They didn't look completely abject
- They lost
- They matched their all-time longest losing streak (seven games) with the result
- They are officially eliminated from the playoffs
- They let in four goals, again
- Despite playing better, they still aren't good