Chivas USA’s postseason chances may have gone from longshot to no shot Saturday at the Home Depot Center, and not simply because their loss to the Seattle Sounders left them at them 10 points out of the final playoff berth with 11 games to play.
It was more how they lost: by giving up a franchise-record six goals in a 6-2 pummeling.
And just to make sure everyone got the message, Chivas scored Seattle’s final goal itself, with veteran defender Ante Jazic redirecting a pass around keeper Dan Kennedy in stoppage time.
“When you give up six goals, and six goals at home, it’s certainly not what you’re looking for,” Coach Robin Fraser said.
Certainly not, and many in the crowd of 11,973 agreed, booing loudly as the clock ran out.
But Fraser, asked whether he was embarrassed by the result, tried mightily to find a silver lining.
His team actually outshot Seattle, he said, put more shots on goal and controlled the ball longer.
“Obviously disappointed with how we defended,” Fraser said before adding "[but] it’s the best attacking night we’ve had all year.”
That isn’t saying much since the Chivas offense is among the most feeble in league history. So when Seattle got three goals in
the first 34 minutes — two from Freddy Montero, who assisted on the other score — it matched Chivas’ total from the previous five weeks combined.
Juan Agudelo finally got the home team on the board in the 38th minute but he needed a lot of help from the Sounders, with defender Adam Johansson getting called for tugging on Casey Townsend’s shirt in the area, setting up a penalty kick that Agudelo converted.
Miller Bolanos pushed Chivas to within a goal at 3-2 in the 64th minute when he pulled up and lined in a right-footed shot from the edge of the area after a long run up the middle of the Seattle defense.
Montero answered that three minutes later with a goal that not only completed his first MLS hat trick but one that gave him six scores in August, or as many as Chivas has scored in the last two months.
Samuel Ochoa added another score in the 80th minute before Jazic’s own goal finished out the scoring.
By then many of the Chivas players had given up on the game, if not the playoffs, with goalkeeper Dan Kennedy walking over to the forlorn Jazic and rubbing him on the head.
Kennedy, an All-Star this season, entered the game among the league leaders in save percentage and goals-against average.
But by the time he had helped Jazic to his feet, those records, and perhaps Chivas’ playoff hopes as well, appeared to be long gone.