Wednesday, July 18, 2007

With a capital P

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic performance by Chivas USA on Wednesday.

Knowing full well the fate other MLS teams had in this same tournament in similar situations, Chivas USA nevertheless took Seattle lightly and fell by the wayside 3-1 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, the second year in a row the club has been ousted in its first game.

Seattle played hard and gave it their all and really took the game to Chivas from midway through the first half on. Chivas acted like they had never encountered adversity and wilted under the pressure. Seattle could have and should have scored more goals on Chivas and the Sounders absolutely earned their quarterfinal trip.

It's difficult to pinpoint the problem with Chivas. At home, the club plays well as its 6-0-1 record will attest. But on the road, Chivas now just has the one victory away from Home Depot Center, a 1-0 win over Chicago on June 9.

Ante Razov was a big absence. Because Chivas has no true playmaker, no true number 10, the club relies too much on Razov and Maykel Galindo to produce. The midfield has been useless this year in terms of offense.

Check out the numbers:

Galindo - 7 goals, 4 assists
Razov - 5 goals, 3 assists

Kljestan - 1 goal, 3 assists
Marsch - 1 goal, 3 assists
Nagamura - 1 goal, 1 assist
Mendoza - 0 goals, 2 assists

In total, the starting forwards have 12 goals and 7 assists; the starting midfield has 3 goals and 9 assists.

Nagamura and Marsch are each defensive minded, but if you play with two such players together it's best to have a five-man midfield and have the attacking mid playing in front of them. Instead, Chivas has a four-man midfield and Mendoza creates nothing from the left and Kljestan has similar output from the right (though he's essentially playing out of position), so where else is the offense supposed to come from if Razov and/or Galindo aren't the ones pulling the strings?

The club is chasing for reinforcements and at least one player could join the club soon. If it's the right player, the club could change its fortunes around. But if this midfield continues playing the way it has been, and the club's mentality continues to be piss poor on the road, don't expect Chivas to make too much noise the rest of this year.

8 comments:

El G├╝ero said...

Funny, when I read the subject of this post, I thought you were referring to the Silverbacks.

Don't worry. I predict Chivas USA will win a US Open Cup game before the decade is over.

Anonymous said...

Darnit! There goes my Beckham to Chivas upgrade idea.

He'll just have to stick it out with the Galaxy, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

How does the league explain so many of its teams losing to lower level teams in the Open Cup. This has to show Garber that he has to stop putting so much emphasis on friendlies and start worrying about the competitivness of the league. You can run the excuse of reserve squads not beaten 2nd and 3rd division teams. But Chivas had mostly 1st teamers out there and still lost 3-1. MLS has to get its priorities straight its clubs can't beat Mexican teams in Champins Cup and can barely beat Coasta Rican teams. Then once they crash out the best teams take half the season to bounce back. Worst they can beat lower division teams in competitive matches. Sad really what else can you say

Anonymous said...

At this point, CUSA looks lost on the road. LOST.
One reinforcement might not be enough, ask the Galaxy.

Oh well, maybe CUSA can get some of those Seattle sounders players to don the red/white.

glyconerd said...

Failure was of epic proportions...Like someone said on the CUSA board, it seemed as if the team skipped practice and went out drinking the night before.

Not making excuses, but to be fair, we were missing Borenstein, Guzan, Razov, Shavar and Nagamura. Five starters! Still an unacceptable defeat.

I'm at a loss for words really. Your recap is pretty spot on. I only take solace in the fact we lost to a top USL-1 team and not a bottom of the barrel USL-2 team.

Laurie said...

I was at the game and it was glorious -- if you're a Sounders fan. (Which I am.) Chivas weren't horrible for most of the first half, but they curled up and died after the Sounders scored the equalizer right before halftime.

I lost count of the number of times the Chivas keeper had to come off his line because a Sounders player had left Chivas' entire defense in the dust. Six, maybe? More? And it seemed like every single time there was a fifty-fifty ball, Sounders won it. They wanted to win a lot more, and it showed.

To Chivas' credit, Seattle player Sebastien Le Toux is an amazing, energizer bunny-type player who won't be in USL long. I think on the right day he could cause huge problems for any defense.

I'm kind of amazed the Colorado Rapids have advanced where so many other MLS teams have fallen by the wayside, and I'm looking forward to seeing the Sounders do away with them, too.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Nagamura and Marsch are each defensive minded, but if you play with two such players together it's best to have a five-man midfield and have the attacking mid playing in front of them. Instead, Chivas has a four-man midfield and Mendoza creates nothing from the left and Kljestan has similar output from the right (though he's essentially playing out of position), so where else is the offense supposed to come from if Razov and/or Galindo aren't the ones pulling the strings?"

How come no one can figure out that this exactly the Galaxy's problem so far this year (Vagenas/Gray, Vagenas/Harmse, and no forwards pulling the strings!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The MLS will continue being a so-so league until they implement a RELEGATION system into the USL. Part of the reason why CUSA does so poorly is because there is no incentive for them to do better right now - and why bother? The worst Alarcon could face right now is to have the league buy his franchise fee out - at a profit.