Bridgeview, IL – With the race for a playoff spot coming down to the final month of the season, both Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire will be desperate for three points when the two sides hook up at Toyota Park on Saturday.
Chivas will be trying to snap a three-game losing skid that has left the Goats three points back of a playoff spot, while Chicago is seven points out but will be searching for a third win in four games.
The Fire saw its brief two-game winning streak halted last time out with a 2-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, a result that interim coach Frank Klopas felt was down to Chicago's struggles in attack.
"We weren't doing enough in the final third," said Klopas of the team's defeat in San Jose. "When we did get there our plays were kind of predictable and we weren't moving the ball well enough and stuff like that. We just didn't create enough opportunities."
Chicago striker Dominic Oduro failed to score in his third successive game, but with four goals in the last six matches, he represents the most dangerous threat for the Fire.
Chivas is in the midst of its worst stretch of the season having lost three straight, while also failing to score a goal in any of the defeats.
Last time out, the Goats lost 3-0 to D.C. United, and coach Robin Fraser felt that too many easy goals were handed out by his team.
"One approach is to close the door on it and say it was a bad day and move on, but I'm a little too practical for that," Fraser said. "A lot of it, we just have to look at ourselves and look at what mistakes we've made and be able to commit to not making the same kind of mistakes. At the end of the day, if you give teams goals, you are making it really difficult for yourself and I thought the goals we gave away today we're incredibly soft."
Defender Heath Pearce has been an ever-present in the Chivas lineup, but his place in the team is being threatened by a hamstring injury, which could force Fraser to go with either rookie Zarek Valentin or second-year man Mike Lahoud.