Apologies to Montreal, and to FC Dallas as well. But, seriously, where is this coming from?
Montreal finally landed on the wrong end of a result in 2013, falling Saturday for the first time in five matches under its new coach.
So the official prize for Major League Soccer shocker team of March – no, don’t be silly, there isn’t actually a prize per se – is Chivas USA.
Jose Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá finished his first month in charge of matches with a 2-1 win over Vancouver. The Whitecaps have had their issues on the road, historically, so that must be said. Still, what Chelis has accomplished over five matches is nothing short of outstanding. As our dear blogging friends from The Goat Parade said of Chivas USA, “nearly all of MLS considered them DOA this year.”
(Here is where myself and others humbly eat our crow; given the Chivas USA past, mostly one fiasco after another, with intermittent bursts of mostly individual success, we all went “Show Me State” on this one. In other words, the Goats had long lost the benefit of the doubt. Well, Chelis is helping to restore it, along with pride and confidence around L.A.’s second team.)
The Goats awaken today in second place in the West, behind only similarly surprising FC Dallas. (In fact, FC Dallas’ only loss was to Chelis and Chivas USA back in Round 2.)
Young attacker Eric Avila (pictured above), who never quite found a starting role in previous stops in Dallas and Toronto, scored a crackerjack goal Saturday. Always talented, he now seems to be flourishing under Chelis.
And speaking of young player flourish: rookie Carlos “Chivas at Heart” Alvarez helped set up the Goats’ first strike, officially an own goal.
Of concern was an injury to Juan Agudelo that deserves checking up on this week. Meanwhile, enjoy the highlights from last night’s late win over Vancouver, as the Chelis era at Chivas USA gains increasing confidence and steam: