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Match Day 5 - At Chivas USA

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CD Chivas USA
Founded: 2004
Home Stadium: The Home Depot Center, Carson, CA
Record Since 2000: 41-49-34
All Time Scorer in MLS: Ante Razov (30)
All Time Cups/Shields: 0
2008 Record: 12-11-7, 43 pts, 2nd in Western Conference
2008 Leading Scorer: Sacha Kljestan, Alecko Eskandarian, Ante Razov (5)
2008 Keeper: Brad Guzan (1.33 GAA, 4 Clean Sheets)
Key Player: Sacha Kljestan, the National Team winger won’t be in MLS long

Capsule: Chivas USA once tried to maintain its parent brand and be a team full of players of Mexican descent, but now just focuses on winning over fans by winning games. This has lead to a rather deeply talented team that played without former USL Sounder Maykel Galindo for most of their games in 2008. 2007 saw Galindo with 12 goals. The Goats are in transition as they have lost their Keeper to Aston Villa as a back-up and Sacha Kljestan looks to transfer to Europe as soon as he can. The goalkeeping duo is the aging Zach Thornton and younger Dan Kennedy. Can Keeper by committee work? Chivas USA is the most successful of the modern expansion clubs. Watch this one on KING5 with the dulcet tones of Kevin Calabro calling the game from the HDC at 7:30PM on April 18th.

Further Depth: I am going to get a little statistical on you guys with this one, specifically because Kasey Keller being out for the match. Obviously this is the biggest story of the match, well out side of the two best teams in the league meeting for the first of three times this year.

Follow along a little bit. Seattle (and most teams) are 4 matches into the season. In those four matches, Seattle has allowed 4.25 Shots on Goal per match, but in each of those matches how did their opponents do compared to their team averages?

Red Bull has played four matches, and in their non-Sounder matches have a 3 SoG average vs 2 in the game here that opened the 2009 season.
RSL is only 3 games into their young season. Against the Rave Green Salt Lake took 5 Shots on Goal, but in their other two matches they averaged 8 per game.
Toronto FC has average 4.67 SoG in their non-Sounder matches, but only had 3 against Seattle.
The Wizards of Kansas City were a man up for two-thirds of the match and managed four SoG, but in their other three matches had an even 5 SoG per match.

How much of Sounders FC's league leading GAA is due to Kasey Keller? How much is due to the backline, or maybe even the midfield? I can't say for certain, but the five-some of Scott, Marshall, Hurtado, Riley and Alonso have to be given significant credit for controlling the Shots on Goal that the opponents have allowed. So while Eylander is likely to start in the pipes, he will still have the defense in front of him that has stifled the opposition at this point in the season.

The historically injured Chivas will be missing several name players; check out this injury report.

CHIVAS USA -- OUT: DF Bobby Burling (sports hernia surgery); DF Ante Jazic (concussion); GK Dan Kennedy (R knee sprain); FW Ante Razov (R ankle surgery); DF Claudio Suárez (L calf strain); DF Lawson Vaughn (L ankle surgery); MF Sasha Victorine (L knee surgery); DOUBTFUL: FW Justin Braun (R knee sprain); FW Maykel Galindo (sports hernia surgery). In addition they lose Paulo Nagamura to a Red Card suspension. That's four starting quality players that are out/still out.

Now, don't start getting cocky Sounders fans. Chivas has been without most of those players in their league leading 10 points in 4 match start.

Seattle though has a some players and an assistant coach that are quite familiar with the Goats squad from past US Open Cup play. Le Toux, Scott and Eylander were lead by Brian Schmetzer in their 2 wins over Chivas in the last two years. Last year in 3rd round play Seattle won 2-nil over Chivas. Seba had one of those goals. In 2007 Seattle beat Preki's Chivas club 3-1 with two goals from Seba and one from Sounders FC sub Levesque.

Seattle now has more talent, and though I normally don't like to use the Open Cup as a guide, these two clubs have a bit of history and due to the injuries Chivas is starting similar lineups to those that lost to the USL Sounders.

Lastly, Coachella is down in the desert SoCal, and one of the 214 is down there sporting the Rave Green.

214 in SoCl

214 in SoCl

What are your thoughts on this match? How do you think that Freddyayn (faux Arabic for 2 Freddies) will play in their first Full 90 together? Should Brad Evans still get the start at Left Mid? Or would you prefer that Zakuani get more playtime?