Kansas City, KS – Sporting Kansas City will be eager for the arrival of Chivas USA at Sporting Park on Sunday as the club attempts to bring a halt to its two-game slide.
Sporting reeled off three successive wins to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference, but losses to Los Angeles and Portland in the past two weeks have given the club plenty of motivation ahead of the arrival of the Goats.
Kansas City's 3-2 defeat to Portland at home last time out was particularly disappointing considering the club twice took a lead in the game, but failed to hold it.
Sporting had won all four of its previous games this season when scoring first, but the club knows it helped aid Portland in its comeback.
"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot, especially in the first half," said Sporting midfielder Graham Zusi. "We let them have a lot of the ball. We let them have too much possession. We knew they were a counter attacking team, and two of their goals resulted from us giving it away in bad spots."
Chance Myers had a career game for Sporting as he scored his first two goals in MLS, but he was more concerned with his team's poor defensive display than his own exploits.
"There's no excuse. We've just got to be better," said Myers. "We gave up a goal on a set piece, which we usually don't do, and we got caught on the counter at home, which we usually don't do. So there's no excuses. We've just got to go back to the drawing board."
Sporting is unbeaten in its last four meetings with Chivas, but the Goats are a different side from the one that Kansas City is used to seeing.
Under new head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, Chivas has shown a different mentality, which was evident in last weekend's 2-2 draw with San Jose.
Chivas went behind to a goal from Chris Wondolowski late in the first half, but rallied to take a 2-1 lead with a second-half surge courtesy of goals from Mario De Luna and Tristan Bowen.
"I told them what we needed; we were searching for that moment of inspiration and when we got that moment, we were able to score two goals," Sanchez Sola said of what he told his team during halftime. "The team never stops searching for those moments, but just because we look for it, doesn't mean we're going to get it. It's a constant search."
Chivas allowed a goal in the final 15 minutes against the Earthquakes to settle for a draw, but after back-to-back 1-0 defeats, Sanchez Sola was pleased with the effort.
"I'm very proud of the entire squad because they all get the idea we want; at the end of the day, 11 players are on the field, and I'm very proud of all of them who give their all and believe me, they feel let down," the coach said. "They don't like the point that they've earned."