Same Field! Same Teams! Different Story! Round 2!
Well, you can’t win them all, but four out of five is not too shabby. After Chivas USA‘s (6-8-5) 4-game win streak was snapped last weekend in the nation’s capital against D.C. United (3-1), the Goats looks to bounce back as they head to Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado to take on the Colorado Rapids Friday night.
Things are a little different since the two teams last met in Denver back on May 11, the Goats were winless in their last eight but managed to pull out a 3-1 road win against a pretty good Rapids team. This time around, Chivas is one of the hottest teams in the league, having won four of five and are just four points behind Colorado for the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Much of the credit for the Goats recent success goes to 21-year-old Erick Torres . Torres has been on a roll, scoring a goal in six consecutive games – including the lone goal scored in last weekends loss. The rising star has quietly been doing his work on the field but without success – numbers are just numbers.
Torres, who was loaned by Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara, has only been with Chivas USA for a little over a year. Since his arrival he has scored 21 goals in 34 career games and is currently tied for second in the MLS with 14 goals this season.
Offensively, Chivas needs to keep on the attack, get open spacing and good looks for Torres. Defensively, before last weeks three goal debacle, Chivas had only allowed two goals in their last five games – including three consecutive shutouts.
If the Goats want to be respected as a legitimate MLS club, this is the transition they must take in stride. They have gotten themselves out of the cellar and are very well in the mix, but for fans, the nation and the city of Los Angeles to truly respect a team, that team has to win. Anyone can pull off a good run of four straight but what happens after that is what is critical. The upcoming schedule is going to be tough for the Goats but will also tell a story of who the club is in the coming weeks.
Colorado and Chivas have faced off 26 times with the Rapids holding a 13-6-7 record, but Friday night in Denver will be as curtail of a match as these teams have faced while on the same field!