What we learned vs. Chivas USA

Carl Valentine looks back at Saturday's match

NRC Chivas

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

 

For the second week in a row our 'Caps are coming off a tough loss on the road and are talking about what could have been. So what did we learn from this game?
 
1. Miller was missed

WATCH: Miller returns in style

 
It was been a big blow to lose Kenny to international duty as he, in my opinion, has been our best player so far this season. 
 
Yes we almost did enough to get a result in Houston last week without him, but we are a much better team when he is in the lineup. He adds so much to our game, especially when he plays in the hole behind Darren Mattocks. He helps our possession game with his hold-up play and he leads by example with his pressing of the ball. 
 
Mr.Miller is quickly becoming a player that we need to keep healthy and in the lineup.
 
2. Slow starts

WATCH: Unlucky break for the 'Caps

 
In at least three of our first four games we have gotten off to slow starts, and even though this is the first time we have gone behind in the first half, we have to improve in this area.  
 
We are a much better team when we can play at a high tempo and we could benefit from starting this way. In some of our preseason games we started off really well by pressuring the other teams high up the field, which we can do with the speed we have on the forward line. 
 
This can get the team off on the front foot and help them feel sharper with and without the ball, straight from the whistle being blown.
 
3. Concentration

WATCH: Defensive lapse costs 'Caps

 
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson often talks of his team having good concentration levels when they are playing well, and that is a lesson our 'Caps are going to have to learn if they are going to reach their potential. 
 
The first goal got an unlucky deflection, but the second goal was down to us losing our shape and leaving a man unmarked at the far post. 
 
We had 22 attempts on goal, but only six on target, and we missed some very good opportunities. Granted, we defended well for the most part and created good chances, but the end result is two losses and this is where the concentration comes in. 
 
You have to defend well for the whole 90 minutes and finish your chances. We have nearly done enough in our two road games to get a positive result, but we need to get our concentration levels up to take advantage of these opportunities.