Frisco, Texas. Chivas USA took the road once more, following an important 3-1 win against the Colorado Rapids, looking to start their first winning streak of the season. Without question, the Goats needed three points and put up an enormous effort to secure more points for another Western Conference playoff push.
Tonight's match saw Chivas USA go up 1-0 in the 60th minute as rising star Marky Delgado nailed home a beautiful pass from Mauro Rosales. However, the lead was not enough to contain Dallas. They equalized the game in the 83rd minute as Fabian Castillo drilled home a shot past Dan Kennedy off a Jair Benitez pass and the Chivas defense. Unfortunately, Goats' defender Bobby Burling clearly missed his mark on another set-piece error for Chivas USA that directly let to the Castillo equalizer.
Here's what we learned from tonight's match:
Defense matters. There's a reason Kennedy is considered one of the best goalkeepers in all of MLS. As a matter of fact, this writer sincerely believes that he would be a more-than-capable U.S. Men's National Team player. However, those cards for this year's World Cup have already been dealt. Nevertheless, Kennedy anchored a defense that held FC Dallas scoreless through the entire first half of the match and much of the second.
Fullbacks Donny Toia and Eric Avila continued to neutralize Dallas' attacks led by Blas Perez, Castillo and Benitez. Their aggressiveness allowed for center backs Burling and Carlos Bocanegra to remain further withdrawn in order to combat any Dallas attacks. Fortunately, our Rojiblancos were able to combat any and all forward momentum.
Get the ball! Possession time is important and directly related to shots on goal, pass completion percentage and the score. The Goats cannot continue to be out-possessed by a 2-1 percentage and expect to be competitive. Needless to say, the Goats need to get the ball, hold it and progress it forward to increase their scoring opportunities. With Mau Rosales returning, Chivas were hoping to create more opportunities for scoring.
And, that's precisely what occurred in the 60th minute as Rosales found starting Marco Delgado (thankfully) for the match's first score which put out Goats up 1-0.
Hold leads. Duh. This point needs absolutely no elaboration. If you're up, then stay up simply and assuredly. Dan Kennedy and company successfully did this until the match's final ten minutes when another set-piece collapse occurred. Needless to say, it was not enough as Chivas was fortunate to escape Dallas with one point after another slip late within a match. Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera needs to not only emphasize these points, but also amend Chivas' game plan in order to account for a greater defensive presence with both holding leads and finishing matches.
With points secured in two in a row, Chivas don't play again until May 28 when the Portland Timbers visit the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, California. Hopefully, our Goats will continue their points-accumulating ways and pull some out in several straight in an matches in an effort to include themselves in all the Western Conference contender talk. Let's go, Goats and do what needs to be done again!
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