SUNDERLAND, England – Chivas USA is hoping it's finally heading in the right direction, but earning consecutive wins for the second time this season might prove difficult.
That's because Chivas will next face Sporting Kansas City, which will try to add to a nine-game unbeaten run Saturday night at Livestrong Sporting Park.
After three consecutive one-goal defeats and a draw, Chivas (5-7-6) earned a 2-0 victory over San Jose on Wednesday night. Ben Zemanski scored his second career goal in the second half and Nick LaBrocca followed with his second in as many games.
"We've played well enough to get results in the past, but this is part of our learning experience because it's not good enough to play well. You have to play well and play effectively over 90 minutes," coach Robin Fraser told the league's official website. "I think that for us, it's a good milestone, especially coming off the last few games where we've scored quite a few goals but have also given up quite a few as well.
Fraser's team scored twice in its season opener against Kansas City on March 19, but also allowed two goals in the opening half. Omar Bravo's second score of the game then won it for Kansas City in the 74th minute.
Kansas City went 0-6-1 following that 3-2 victory, but enters this matchup 4-0-5 in its last nine and 2-0-2 in its first four games on its new home field.
"It's really fun and special what we've got going right now, and it never gets old. It's really unbelievable," midfielder Graham Zusi said.
Sporting KC (5-6-6) nearly missed earning another home win Wednesday night, when three of its shots against Colorado hit the goal posts. Zusi scored in the second half to help his team escape with a 1-all draw.
With the tie, Kansas City matched its nine-game unbeaten streak (6-0-3) from June 5-July 24, 2004. Another win or draw would move Sporting KC within two games of the longest unbeaten streak in franchise history. Then known as the Wizards, Kansas City started 10-0-2 in 2000, en route to its only MLS title.
"I'm proud of the fact that were able to get the goal," coach Peter Vermes said. "We had a lot of great chances ... At the end of the day, when we are at home, we want to win."
Vermes' club couldn't win at home last season against Chivas, falling 2-0 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on July 10. Justin Braun scored both goals, each after a poor clearing attempt.
The win snapped Chivas USA's 0-4-1 drought at Kansas City, which claimed a 2-0 victory at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 19 as Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury scored second-half goals.