Chivas USA coach Preki admits the once-galloping Goats have a fight on their hooves if the playoffs are to be reached.Preki oversaw his team's third straight Major League Soccer loss on Saturday as his Chivas USA squad went down 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the SuperClasico. After dropping only four points in its opening nine games and rushing to the head of the table, Chivas USA has now sunk to third place in the Western Conference with 27 points in 16 games.
Just over the halfway point in the season, head coach Preki knows the team still has a long way to go before the playoffs can be discussed, starting with reversing the three game losing skid.
"We're far away from the playoffs," he told Goal.com. "Let us make the playoffs first, then we can talk about it. We have 14 games to go, we're not in the playoffs by any means, so we have to fight.
"Everybody's tight, so we're in a fight. There's no guarantees right now for anybody."
With the Goats sputtering into the last half of the season, Preki refused to blame circumstances that all MLS teams are dealing with: a congested schedule and key players away on international duty. Chivas crashed out of the SuperLiga after the group stages, having collected one point in three games.
"It's a distraction for everybody, but that's the way it is," the former U.S. international winger said of his players, Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan, spending time away with the national team. "We can't really worry about that, everybody in the league is dealing with the same situation."
Despite maintaining that he has "no regrets" about trading Alecko Eskandarian to rivals Galaxy, Preki admitted that he's looking for reinforcements to buoy a sinking team.
"Yeah, we need help; we're looking for it," he said in the SuperClasico postmatch press conference. "We're looking for different players, yes. We're always looking for good players."
Then, wryly suggesting a cure to his stale offense, which has yet to score more than one goal in a match since a 3-2 loss to Chicago on May 28, Preki made reference to French legend Zinedine Zidane's presence at the match.
“We need all positions,” he said, smirking. “I heard Zidane was here, maybe we can ask him to play.”
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page