After a mile-high battle to keep seventh place in the Western Conference, Chivas USA walked away pleased with the 1-1 outcome against the Colorado Rapids.
"I think it’s big," defender Danny Califf said. "This is an inherently tough place to play. We both have been going through rough periods, up and down periods, so to come in here and to be chasing the game most of the game and still walk out of here with a point is big for us."
The first half, the Colorado Rapids dominated possession and the scoreboard, but it was how the Goats ended the match that impressed head coach Robin Fraser. Juan Pablo Angel scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute.
"I was very pleased with how we finished the game," Fraser said. "I thought early on we had pretty good intentions, but we just didn't execute early on in the game. As the game wore on, I thought we really pushed well. I thought we were able to create some dangerous opportunities for ourselves. Obviously, Juan scored a very good goal, and probably could have created at least one more. Definitely pleased with the way we finished the game."
Coming back from behind to score in the final 10 minutes and tie it up reveals the character of this Chivas USA group.
"It's a resilient group," the 45-year old coach said. "There is no secret been made of the fact that we haven’t scored a lot of goals, but the group has been resilient all year. They fight and they battle, and Dan Kennedy came up big a couple of times. There is a lot to be said about the character of the group; they don’t buckle, but I think it is important for our progress that we finish the game well, and we finish the game on the front foot."
At one point, Shalrie Joseph wasn’t sure his side would be able to pull it off. The former New England Revolution midfielder was very impressed with the 1-1 result of his new team.
“The guys showed a lot of heart, showed a lot of character,” the Grenadian explained. “They keep fighting and keep digging and luckily we got that one goal from JP, from Angel tonight, and try to sit back a little bit and defend. Colorado is a great team, and it’s hard coming in here and play. For us to get a point tonight, we’ll take that and build on it for next week.”
Joseph’s teammates are equally impressed by him. His 6-foot-3 frame and leadership has altered the look of the Chivas starting XI.
“It’s big,” defender Danny Califf said. “He brings not only great experience in the locker room, but he’s a presence in there. He’s a big body. He can win tackles. He leads on the field, and I think the more guys like that that you can get on the field, the better you are going to be.”
Coach Fraser reveals why he is thankful for their newest addition.
“So much experience, so much leadership, just a quality player all around,” Fraser said, “It’s certainly a big help to our club to have him be a part of it.”
Chivas USA hopes to build from this result when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Aug. 25.
Tim Gardner contributed additional reporting
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