Los Angeles Soccer: Justin Mapp

CHIVAS USA: Not dead yet, but so close

October, 2, 2011

Alejandro Moreno Victor Decolongon/Getty ImagesChivas USA has needed more efforts like the one Alejandro Moreno gave Sunday as it tries to remain in the playoff hunt.

CARSON -- Every game is must-win for Chivas USA, and even that probably isn't enough to get the club in Major League Soccer's postseason tournament.

And when the Goats offer not nearly the kind of intensity required to beat decent opponents, well, what's the point?

That was the tale of Sunday's 1-1 draw at Home Depot Center with the Philadelphia Union, a result that didn't quite crush their playoff prospects but trimmed their slim chances to nearly nothing.

Juan Pablo Angel's 90th-minute header delivered the draw, which was better than a loss in that Chivas (8-12-12) needs, let's say, 15 results to go its way rather than, say, 20. Those aren't exact numbers, but they might as well be.

“Obviously, any lifeline is better than none at all ...” coach Robin Fraser said. “Our chances are extremely slim. In sports, you certainly like to be able to control your own destiny, and that was many games ago for us, and now not only do we have to sit and wait, but we have business we have to take care of ourselves.”

Chivas hopes it is still alive when it meets the Galaxy in two weeks, but if L.A. loses Tuesday at New York, it's over.

The Goats have 36 points and can get to 42 with victories in their last two games. Nine teams already are beyond that -- including Philly (10-7-14) -- and they'd have to vault past four teams, all with more games remaining than Chivas has, to snatch the last berth.

“Mathematically, we still have a chance, I guess,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “As results like this happen, you just depend more and more on everyone else. And that's the problem.

“This has been our problem all year, not taking care of our games at home, and tonight was another case of the same thing, I guess.”

Chivas is 5-6-5 in home games, winning just 20 of a possible 48 points. Pick up another half-dozen, and the Goats would be in the thick of the playoff chase rather than waiting for the ax.

Fraser was asked afterward about luck and how much a little more here or there would have meant to his team.

(Read full post)