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Goats from the Couch - Calm before the storm

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3 matches in one weeks time can take its toll on any team. It doesn’t matter if that teams name is Manchester United, or Chivas USA. That’s the hand our Goats were dealt this past week. And it’s not over yet as a quarterfinal fixture in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup still awaits this coming Tuesday. When all is said and done, 4 matches will have been played in 10 days time.

6/16 vs. Real Salt Lake

Fellow 2005 expansion side came into the match with their loss to the Goats earlier this season still fresh in their minds. Yet it seemed they were taking on a determined Goats side that was going toe to toe with them……at least for the first 40 minutes. Shortly before halftime, the visitors, courtesy of Fabian Espindola, scored to bring the score up to 1-0. As the second half commenced, it appeared that the Goats would be able to fight their way back into the contest. But hopes were dashed when Salt Lake (courtesy of Fabian Espindola again) beat Dan Kennedy for goal number 2 in the 54th minute. If history is any indicator, this match was as good as over. The only question would be how mad the scoreline would be. And just when it seemed a 2-0 loss would seal the festivities, RSL struck one more time in the dying seconds of second half stoppage time. 3-0.

6/20 vs. Montreal

Looking to get the awful taste out of their mouths (as well as their supporters) the Goats took on visiting expansion side, Montreal Impact. This time around the Goats struck first to take the 1-0 lead. However there was some confusion as to who had scored the goal. At first it seemed Juan Agudelo had put in a cross just feet away from the goalmouth. Further review showed that it had actually deflected off of Alejandro Moreno, who was then credited with the goal. It didn’t take long for the Impact to get one back though as Felipe (no last name) snuck one past the defense about 10 minutes later. 1-1 going into half time.

And that’s the way the score would remain till the 81st minute. Looking for more of an offensive punch, Coach Robin Fraser brought in veteran Juan Pablo Angel in for Cesar Romero and Jorge Villafaña for Paolo Cardozo minutes earlier. And as fortune would have it, they combined for the match winner off a left footed cross that Angel headed past the outstretched arms of Montreal goalkeeper, Donovan Rickets. With the score holding, the team looked to continue the momentum gained and take it into the heart of Texas.

6/23 vs. FC Dallas

0-0 was the final result for this one. Sometimes 0-0 draw can be an exciting match. Other times it can be boring. This one? Kind of somewhere in between, and can be labeled as frustrating. Facing a team on a 10-match winless streak, one would think the Goats would stand a chance at making it two in a row. But no. Sure, it can be said that the team “grinded one out on the road”. But the team has been grinding it out for most, if not the entire season. In this examiner’s honest opinion, it’s time to step on the pedal and take it to the opposition. Sure, there is an important US Open Cup match this Tuesday. And sure one wants to save as many resources for that match. But if the team from the past two Saturdays is the same passive and timid team that’s been afraid to take chances and only produced 2 goals over this three match span is the one that shows up on Tuesday, then kiss the Open Cup goodbye.

Kickoff for the U.S. Open Cup match again the Charlotte Eagles is this Tuesday at 7:30pm at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased calling Chivas USA at 1-877-CHIVAS-1, or at the Box Office on match day.

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