The good times have apparently evaporated for Chivas USA.
The team’s 3-1-1 start back in March seems to be a distant memory, and Real Salt Lake further rammed that point home on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center, as Ned Grabavoy’s brace along with goals from Robbie Findley and Joao Plata paced RSL to a 4-1 road win over Chivas USA.
RSL sent Chivas USA to its third straight loss on Sunday night, though the goal it got from Jorge Villafana was the first in an MLS match for the Goats since April 27th against San Jose. In fact, Chivas is 0-5-1 since its 3-1-1 start. RSL meanwhile picked itself back up after a tough loss to the Montreal Impact a week back.
“This is what we have,” Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis “El Chelis” Sanchez Sola “. “We don’t have anything else. I’m very proud of everything that my players do every day. This is just our level.”
Real Salt Lake struck four minutes into the match when Luis Gil led an RSL attack from the right. Gil then played a ball for Javier Morales, who then touched it forward towards a sprinting Ned Grabavoy. The striker got behind the Chivas backline and his shot just outside the penalty area beat keeper Dan Kennedy into the back net for the first RSL goal.
RSL added a second goal four minutes into the second half with even the slightest bit of luck. Chivas’ Martin Ponce tried to play a ball forward, but his ball instead was headed by RSL’s Kyle Beckerman and went RSL’s way, and Joao Plata went on what turned out to be a perfectly time run, as he sprinted, then fired a shot past Kennedy into the back net to double its lead. Chivas USA however had an answer in the 55th minute, as Edgar Mejia crossed a ball into the penalty area, keeper Nick Rimando came off his line to contest the cross along with two other RSL players, but all three were unsuccessful, as Jorge Villafana headed the ball past all three RSL players into the open net to cut into RSL’s lead. Rimando however redeemed himself two minutes later, as Chivas striker Jose Correa brought down Giovani Casillas’ cross in the box, then fired a point-blank howler towards goal. Rimando however showed his poise, as he stoned Correa at the goal line.
“Guys are fighting. It’s not for lack of effort, that’s for sure,” Chivas USA Center Back Bobby Burling said. “Maybe a play goes this way or that way early in the match, and the game’s 2-2. But that’s the game sometimes, and the bounces are definitely not going our way right now.”
After that brief scare, the floodgates re-opened for RSL. Robbie Findley made up for an array of missed opportunities upon entering as a second half substitute back in the 63rd minute with a goal in the 78th minute. Yordany Alvarez crossed a short ball in the box towards the left post and Findley one-timed a chance past Kennedy near post to restore the team’s two-goal lead, and Grabavoy added a stoppage time goal to cap the scoring.
“Today we played better, but it’s not enough in this league,” Chelis said.
Chivas USA will try to pick up the pieces next week, as they travel to Colorado to face the Rapids. RSL will be at home next week against the Chicago Fire.