One of the most-repeated phrases I heard in Chivas USA's locker room after the game at Real Salt Lake was "It doesn't matter."
The goal, the loss, the series deficit ultimately didn't matter, players and coaches said.
Well then why the hell did I come to Salt Lake then if it didn't matter?
Well, no, I didn't say that but it did cross my mind. Anyway, I don't know if it was what Preki told them right when the players got back to the dressing room or if the veterans told each other that but it seemed like someone spread that message across the locker room. Perhaps it was to soften the blow or maybe it was because they really feel that way.
"It doesn't matter because we still need to score a goal at home."
True, that's quite accurate. If they would have tied 0-0 at RSL, they still would have needed a goal at HDC to advance. But the goal I think does matter. It matters because it gave RSL a ton of confidence and perhaps some much-needed momentum. It matters because if Chivas is up a goal late, they either have to push forward to go for the winner or defend and hope RSL does not get one but they have to do something because they have no margin for error.
And it matters because this same thing happened last year. They lost on the road by a goal, went home and could not score a goal and were ousted.
Now, the only way Chivas makes that goal a moot point is if they score early. Then the team might gain some much-needed confidence and momentum and turn the game and the series around in their favor.
But one thing everyone can agree on: they need to score. Early, late, whenever, Chivas needs to score and they can't give up any goals.