MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
07/24/2014 1:55 PM
07/24/2014 2:02 PM
Chivas USA (6-8-5) at Colorado (7-6-6), 9:30 p.m.
Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Chivas USA will attempt to get back to winning ways on Friday when the club heads to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to face the Colorado Rapids.
The Goats had won four straight league games until they were grounded in a 3-1 loss at D.C. United last time out.
"We didn't look sharp, especially in the first half," Chivas head coach Wilmer Cabrera said after the match. "In the first half we were a little bit sluggish, and a little bit slow, it could be that they are tired. We think that they carried over a little bit of a heavy load due to a lot of games and traveling from west (coast) to east (coast). It was heavy and then a little bit humid and that could have affected us. We weren't sharp, we didn't look good with the ball, we didn't look aggressive enough and they took advantage with the set pieces."
Cabrera opined that the Goats would need to catch up on some rest in order to regain the sublime form that helped put the club back in the race for a playoff spot.
"If you are well rested, you are going to be able perform and think well," Cabrera continued. "When you're tired, even when you're good, you're mentally tired and physically tired. You're not going to respond to the responsibilities and the work as well as you should do. We know, we have to live with it, no excuses. Let's try to rest, let's try to focus and let's try to use other guys to see if we can give a little bit of fresh momentum to the team and continue battling because we have a tough schedule this month."
Chivas enters the contest on 23 points for the season, just four points back of Colorado.
The Rapids squandered an opportunity to advance to second place in the Western Conference on Friday as they let a lead slip away at Providence Park to fall to the Portland Timbers in a 2-1 defeat. But head coach Pablo Mastroeni remained positive in his post-match press conference.
"I thought it was a well-fought game," the Rapids boss said. "I thought the guys went out and played really well, played hard, really controlled the tempo in the first half and parts of the second. I think when (Portland) got that first goal, everyone got into it. We were on our heels a bit. Having said that, we had chances early in the second half to really do a little more with our chances and we didn't do enough. I think we lost to a world-class strike. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat. Onto the next one."
Colorado was without a few key players through suspension, and things were made even more difficult for Mastroeni when leading scorer Deshorn Brown was forced out of the match with a groin injury just moments after breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute.
"We came into this game limping," Mastroeni said after the contest. "We had some suspensions. We were digging deep. More importantly, the guys that were on the field did a tremendous job of really getting after it and doing everything they could. When you're forced to make quick changes, early changes in games, it obviously disrupts the flow. But having said that, we had chances to go up two, we had chances to go up 2-1, we had chances to tie it. So tonight just wasn't the night, but again the effort was tremendous and just have to prepare for the next game."
Brown is questionable for Friday's clash with Chivas, but Marlon Hairston, who also exited the match against Portland, is said to be available for selection.
Edson Buddle, meanwhile, returned from a toe injury to fully participate in training this week, making a starting role for the former United States international a strong possibility.
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