PORTLAND, OR - JULY 28: Can Chivas get another rebound win this week? (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
It's been a tough week around Chivatown, no doubt about it, but let's get a small dose of optimism into our thoughts in anticipating Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids. Chivas USA have lost by at least three goals four times this season. Ok, so that's not the kind of stat to get most feeling optimistic, but stick with me here. For all of the disappointment that has come with Chivas' blowout losses this season, they have been able to recover most of the time the following game and get a win. And they have shown that they've learned from their mistakes as the season has progressed. Let's look at the games one by one.
First, Chivas had their first blowout loss of the season April 28, when Colorado beat Chivas 4-0. Featuring three goals in the last 10 minutes, Chivas had a total collapse and there's not much need to dwell on the game. The following game came against the Chicago Fire May 4, but they lost that game 2-1. Still, if not for Marco Pappa's goal in second half injury time, that game would have ended in a draw. So Chivas showed consistent frailties in that stretch, dropping two tough losses in a row.
But it gets better from there. Chivas returned from a bye June 16 against Real Salt Lake, but they didn't fully return from the bye if you get what I'm saying, and lost 3-0. Still, they had only a few days to recover for their next match, against the Montreal Impact, and they beat them 2-1 June 20. So the Goats had a tough loss and recovered for the next game to get a win.On July 11, Chivas fell in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders. The next week, they faced the Portland Timbers and beat them 1-0.
Even the other loss of the season that was by more than a goal, July 21 against the LA Galaxy (Chivas lost 3-1) was followed up by a 1-0 over Portland a week later.
So based on the team's track record this season, they've won three of the four matches following losses of two goals or more. And the only loss came after the first blowout loss. So Chivas have shown they can get their act together and bounce back in their next match, which is a good omen heading into the Colorado match.
There are, of course, some mitigating factors to consider. First, the team they will be trying to bounce back from last week's loss, Colorado, is of course a team that walloped them earlier this season. Along with that, the teams Chivas have come back from bad losses were Portland and Montreal. Although the Impact have had good games this season, Portland is in fierce competition with Toronto FC for worst team this season, and Chivas probably benefitted a bit from the schedule falling the way it did, in having a good match-up following three of those bad losses.
Still, Chivas haven't played particularly well lately, and ideally they shouldn't be suffering blowout losses in the first place. But if they can repeat their recent pattern and pick up a win Saturday, the bad taste of last week's loss won't disappear, but it will certainly lessen. And hopefully then the team and fans can have renewed hope that this team has what it takes to make the playoffs in 2012.
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