Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic performance by Chivas USA on Wednesday.
Knowing full well the fate other MLS teams had in this same tournament in similar situations, Chivas USA nevertheless took Seattle lightly and fell by the wayside 3-1 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, the second year in a row the club has been ousted in its first game.
Seattle played hard and gave it their all and really took the game to Chivas from midway through the first half on. Chivas acted like they had never encountered adversity and wilted under the pressure. Seattle could have and should have scored more goals on Chivas and the Sounders absolutely earned their quarterfinal trip.
It's difficult to pinpoint the problem with Chivas. At home, the club plays well as its 6-0-1 record will attest. But on the road, Chivas now just has the one victory away from Home Depot Center, a 1-0 win over Chicago on June 9.
Ante Razov was a big absence. Because Chivas has no true playmaker, no true number 10, the club relies too much on Razov and Maykel Galindo to produce. The midfield has been useless this year in terms of offense.
Check out the numbers:
Galindo - 7 goals, 4 assists
Razov - 5 goals, 3 assists
Kljestan - 1 goal, 3 assists
Marsch - 1 goal, 3 assists
Nagamura - 1 goal, 1 assist
Mendoza - 0 goals, 2 assists
In total, the starting forwards have 12 goals and 7 assists; the starting midfield has 3 goals and 9 assists.
Nagamura and Marsch are each defensive minded, but if you play with two such players together it's best to have a five-man midfield and have the attacking mid playing in front of them. Instead, Chivas has a four-man midfield and Mendoza creates nothing from the left and Kljestan has similar output from the right (though he's essentially playing out of position), so where else is the offense supposed to come from if Razov and/or Galindo aren't the ones pulling the strings?
The club is chasing for reinforcements and at least one player could join the club soon. If it's the right player, the club could change its fortunes around. But if this midfield continues playing the way it has been, and the club's mentality continues to be piss poor on the road, don't expect Chivas to make too much noise the rest of this year.