Chivas USA-Wizards Preview
It's been two months since Chivas USA earned a victory in MLS play, and it will have to wait until next week for some much-needed help.
Until then, the Red and White will try to end a seven-game winless streak in Saturday night's trip to face the Kansas City Wizards, who have one win in their last 11 league contests.
Blair Gavin's goal just before halftime last Saturday was enough to allow Chivas to snap the franchise's longest losing streak in MLS play at six, settling for a 1-1 tie against Philadelphia.
"A tie is not something to brag about," coach Martin Vasquez said. "Our goal was to win and to turn this around. At times, we're not making good decisions and instead of being patient, we're trying to play more direct. ... Right now, we need everybody to give us 100 percent. That's the only way we're going to turn this around."
To aid in the pursuit of a fifth straight playoff berth, Chivas (3-9-2) signed Venezuelan forward Giancarlo Maldonado on Thursday, but he and another recent signee, midfielder Paulo Nagamura, can't begin contributing until the transfer window opens July 15. The team got some help last week with the return of defender Jonathan Bornstein from the World Cup in South Africa.
While waiting for those players to become eligible, Vasquez's club is hoping to build off Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal victory in Houston and snap a three-game road losing streak in league play.
Chivas is 0-4-1 all-time at Kansas City (3-7-3), though that tie came in its only visit last season in a game that saw the Wizards' Josh Wolff and Santiago Hirsig draw red cards. The Red and White also beat Kansas City 2-0 at home Oct. 10.
As it tries for its first MLS victory since May 5, Chivas will face a Wizards team which is 1-7-3 since opening the season with back-to-back wins.
Kansas City is tied for last in the league with 11 goals - Kei Kamara has six - and hasn't scored since a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on June 10. The Wizards were shut out for the second consecutive game and seventh time this season in last Saturday's 1-0 loss at FC Dallas.
"We can't just lie back and feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep working harder," goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. "This week is very important for us. The game against Chivas is a big game. We need the three points."
Kansas City, which holds a 4-3-3 edge in the series, has posted all three of its victories at home.