Galaxy vs. Chivas PreviewBy: jen | April 10th, 2009
I don’t think the match between the Galaxy and Chivas USA is going to be that clear cut. The odds are in Chivas’ favor given their record (3-0) versus ours (0-1-1). But records aren’t always a clear indicator when these two teams meet.
Before the season began several MLS analysts expected Chivas to perform poorly this season. (Yes, I read it several places but did I save the links? Noooo. You’ll have to believe me.) Perhaps this game will be the start of those predictions.
After an unattractive loss to the Rapids last weekend, the Galaxy regrouped and looked more cohesive and dangerous against the Rapids on Tuesday (Open Cup), eventually losing in PKs. The addition of Gregg Berhalter in the back four seemed key in the defense’s improvement.
Donovan Ricketts and Edson Buddle are both expected to be out, but all other of the Galaxy’s key players should be available.
I think where the game will be won or lost is in the midfield. Chivas’ Paulo Nagamura, and Jesse Marsch are formidable holding midfielders while Nagamura, in particular, feeds the offense well. When you add USMNT player Sacha Kljestan to the midfield lineup Chivas seems as though they can’t lose. With Kovalenko serving a red card suspension the young ‘uns on our team will need to work hard to be effective in the midfield.
The good news is that Chivas’ defense is more porous than their 3-0 record would indicate. Look for Landon to get into space to both create and finish opportunities on goal. If the other forward (Kirovski?, Gordon?) can move effectively, Landon should be able to find more space than he’s seen so far this season.
My prediction? Galaxy 2 — Chivas 1.
UPDATE FROM Nathanhj: Please feel free to use Jen’s preview as you place to leave your running commentary during the game, for people with good phone tech at the game and for folks following along on ESPN2. I’ll be doing periodic updates from the game, myself.
Hopefully we’ll see a Chivas defense like this: