The Goats lose to 2-1 to Seattle on a last minute goal…
8 matches left, 24 points up for grabs…
The team hasn’t won 3 in a row all year, nor back to back in months…
I’m calling it. Time of death on the 2012 Chivas USA season is Saturday, September 8th. Seattle, Washington. 2:55pm, Pacific Standard Time.
A few hours later at the eulogy…..
Like usual, Chivas USA let everyone down. Sure there aren’t as many of us as there used to be with what that glorified Tifo on the northern endzone, frustrating losses and declining attendances. The stadium is a little quieter now, but you’d think someone at the team would care about those passionate few who have continued waving the colors, wearing the badge and name dropping the team everywhere they go. But alas, there hardly seems to be anyone there giving a……………………..darn.
Whether it was being eliminated from the playoffs in the 1st round, to the more recent trend of being out of the playoff picture by late September/early October, the team has always found a way displease the loyal, and further push away those on the fringes of supporting them. Many will point to the older players on the field. Many point to the inexperience of others in the pro game. And like usual, everyone blames the coach. Regardless of what camp you fall in, there’s no way around it: Another year gone at Chivas USA, another year ending in frustration.
So what went wrong this year? Did the team peak too early in beating the neighbors? Was the inclusion of new players’ midway thru the year, rather than at the beginning of it, a deterrent on the team? To have as many talented players and continue to disappoint week after week, there must have been something wrong with the team chemistry.
But then there were moments when the team fought tooth and nail for a result and got it. Even if it meant relying on the oldest trick in the book; “Let Dan Kennedy save it”. Poor Dan. In one of the worst years for Chivas USA, Dan Kennedy stood above every single member of this team playing out of his mind week in and week out and being nominated for save of the week time and time again. Kennedy rode that praise all the way to an MLS All Star Team selection. Calls for the US National team to give Kennedy a chance went unanswered. Despite his talent in making key saves, it doesn’t help your case when you’re the starter during 4-0, and 6-2 losses. On a team, you sink or swim together. Dan, you’ve gone down with the ship. And any national team chances have gone down with you.
And what of the captain of said ship? Coach Robin Fraser, now in his 2nd year at the helm, steered this ship as best he could as far as this examiner saw. To say his heart wasn’t in it or that he wasn’t passionate enough is out of context. But this was year two. The free pass of “It’s his first year” was long expired. Last year it was obvious he was trying to build something, but needed more time. He’s gotten nearly 365 more days to do it and several different players to experiment with. And nothing has changed from this time last year. While I’m not advocating his removal from the sunken vessel that is Chivas USA, I am asking for an evaluation of his plans for next year. Are they in the best interest of the Powers that be, the team and most importantly, the fanbase (what little there could be left of next year)?
The season may be over, but the league mandates that all remaining matches must be played. If today’s 2-1 last minute loss hadn’t been bad enough, the loss enabled the San Jose Earthquakes to become the 1st team this year to qualify for the post season. The Goats opponents next Saturday night; San Jose. And no, they will not take their foot off the pedal and play their reserves. They have yet to secure neither home field advantage nor the Supporters Shield. Things are about to get even uglier before it’s over (even though it is over).