By: Mario Melara
Brek Shea’s goal in the 71st minute was all that Dallas FC needed to defeat both an offensively and defensively inconsistent Chivas USA side at Pizza Hut Park this past weekend in Dallas, TX. With only nine MLS games remaining in the season for the Goats and still sitting in last place of the Western Conference standings with only 19 points, the season is pretty much over. I would not be so pessimistic or so tough on this squad, but this team hasn’t shown me something to change my outlook. Maybe it’s time to look forward to the 2010-11 campaign, maybe a new coach, a new style of play, and a new stadium.
Offensively, can someone please just make a play? I remember my interview with Chivas USA captain Jonathan Bornstein last weekend at the HDC, the team has been working their butts off in practice, but come game time, it seems like no one can put the ball behind the net with any consistency. Yes, Justin Braun has emerged as a great talent, but he is not at the talent level of a world-class finisher. The signing of Venezuelan international Giancarlo Maldonado was supposed to solve the offensive issues up top, but it has not panned out yet, he needs time to get adjusted to the level of play in the MLS. Then add ex-galaxy forward Alan Gordon, a player who routinely missed scoring opportunities while in L.A., and you have another inconsistent scorer. None made any impact in the lose against Dallas FC.
Chivas USA missed multiple scoring opportunities against Dallas FC. Paolo Nagamura missed an open shot in the 10th minute of play as his screamer went just wide right of Dallas FC goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. A header by Carlos Umana in the 77th minute was parried over the bar and an attempt by Dario Delgado 2 feet from goal was also pushed away by Hartman in the 78th. I can only imagine how small the goal must seem right now for the Chivas USA players. It seems like no one can put the ball in the back in the net.
The main issue with this team remains consistency. Head Coach Martin Vasquez once again entered tonight’s matchup with a totally new lineup. This time Jonathan Bornstein was put back in defense, Braun played out wide with Gordon paired up top with Maldonado. At this point of the season, enough is enough. You can’t tinker the line-up every week. Players on the pitch need to develop some level of consistency and learn to play with each other.[picappgallerysingle id=”9580984″]
So who is to blame for Chivas USA’s failure so far this season?
Tonight’s loss showed me two things. First, after just two seasons with Chivas USA, Coach Martin Vasquez record is now 10 wins, 20 losses, and 7 draws. Although he was an assistant at FC Bayern Munich, things have not gone so well as a head coach. How much more patience will the ownership group have? Secondly, the team is lacking an identity. With the losses of their best players the last couple of seasons, from Brad Guzan, to more recently in Sasha Klejstan, and now Jonathan Bornstein, I am starting to get a sense that this club is becoming more of a farm-type system to develop players and sell them for a profit, than to truly establish a team that will consistently compete for championship. I will know this for a fact if the team sells its more recently developed talent of Justin Braun.
Only nine more games to go. Only nine more press conferences of Coach Vasquez saying how he liked how the team played but the team just couldn’t put one in behind the net.