Originally posted on Total MLS  |  Last updated 9/11/12

Things were never going to get any easier for Chivas USA. After a run of miserable results, that have all but ended their hopes of making the playoffs, the fixture list threw up another game against one of the league’s in-form teams. After a 4-0 drubbing from San Jose, all the Goats could aim for in Saturday’s match against the Sounders was 3 points. However, after a decent start, they left with nothing as Seattle battled their way back from a goal down to inflict more misery on Chivas USA. Two goals from Eddie Johnson cancelled out Nick LaBrocca’s early opener that leaves the Goats edging towards the basement of the Western Conference.

Playing a team who are now 2nd in the Western Conference was never going to be an easy task for Chivas USA especially considering the form they have been in lately. Despite the opposition though, the Goats had to play for all three points. No hard fought point on the road would have been good enough. With their hopes of making the playoffs drifting away as each game passes their only saving grace would be a win. Prior to this match (and all our recent matches), Robin Fraser has spoken about needing wins and turning things around.  This has failed to happen though in games against Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle, New England and San Jose. ..All of which were disappointing and embarrassing in their own way. The game against the Sounders on Saturday, however, was frustrating more than anything. Despite knowing 3 points were a must, we were then forced to downgrade our hopes to settling for a point (which normally would be a respectable result for the Rojiblancos). Instead we left with nothing.

After thrashing Chivas USA 6-2 in their last meeting and having only lost once in their last ten games, the odds were firmly stacked in Seattle’s favor. It was a surprise for the home crowd then when Chivas took the lead in this game after only 8 mins. In a glimpse of the ‘potential’ us Chivas USA fans always seem to cling onto for hope, some good attacking play in the opening stages suggested Chivas were not yet dead and buried in the playoff race. Some good movement and a good through ball from Shalrie Joseph allowed Nick LaBrocca to fire home and give Robin Fraser’s side the perfect start. Unfortunately, from there on it was all downhill for Chivas USA. Seattle warmed into the match and were rewarded for their dominance in the 28th minute when the seemingly unmarked Eddie Johnson powered a header home for the equalizer.

1-1 at the half was not only a fair score-line, but it was one that Goats would have taken before the first whistle. Second half performances from Chivas USA tend to be an improvement on their first half displays, so they were still in this match. However, Seattle started the 2nd better than they did the first and it became obvious that a 2nd goal was on its way. A shocking miss from Brad Evans standing only a couple of yards from goal did give Chivas hope that luck was on their side. The winner from the Sounders though certainly had nothing to do with luck. After riding their luck for the rest of the 2nd half, offering little to suggest a shock win was possible, the Goats again suffered in the closing stages of a game just like they did so often at the start of the season. With 88minutes on the board, some brilliant attacking play from the hosts resulted in Eddie Johnson scoring the winner and setting a club record for goals scored in a season.

Moving Seattle up into 2nd in the West and pushing Chivas closer to the bottom, the host deserved the three points and on any other day would have been an almost acceptable defeat for Chivas. However, given the circumstances it again has to put under the heading of not only ‘disappointing’ but ‘same-old Chivas USA’ as well.

A few weeks ago when Shalrie Joseph arrived at the club, people outside of Chivas USA finally began to realize the promising position they actually were in. Sitting not far from a playoff spot with games in hand, if Robin Fraser could somehow up their game, then a post-season could be a realistic target. Conversely, since people started mentioning that possibility and their ‘statement of intent’ by bringing in Joseph, Chivas USA have done their best at banishing those suggestions. It has now been over 6 weeks since they last won a game and during that time only 2 points have been acquired. Very little from their play suggests that they are team of capable of not only reaching the playoffs but competing in them.  Robin Fraser has spoken about mistakes being ‘correctable’ and wins being our only objective to get us there. It seems like the only objective for the Goats now should simply be to stop the rot and rescue a smidgen of what was once an almost successful season.

(image courtesy of Getty Images)

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