All season long, I've felt Chivas USA has been better than people have given them credit for. Before the year, the talk was more about the losses of Bob Bradley, Paco Palencia and Juan Pablo Garcia and less about who was here. Maykel Galindo was an unknown and many wrote the club off as a possible one-year wonder.
I've followed with keen interest the Collective Power Rankings compiled by Jeff, a reader and fellow blogger. Basically, he takes a lot of the power rankings that are out there and averages them out. The consensus for most of the season has had Chivas floating between 5-9 or so, and mostly they've been closer to double digits than the top.
I've felt this has been somewhat unfair. I mean, here you have a team with an 8-1-1 record at Home Depot Center in which they've allowed five goals while scoring 19. Earlier in the year, they had problems winning away from home but they have three road wins now and all of them have been by shutout.
Now, I think this will be a time for them to either gain more respect or for me to get in line with others. Like Ante Razov told me in one of the stories I linked below, this next stretch will show a lot about what kind of team Chivas has. Tonight, Chivas plays DC United, one of the best clubs in the league and perhaps the only team as hot as Chivas. Sunday, Chivas will play New York who is a cup contender despite their inconsistencies.
Four or six points and they should not only vault themselves to the top of the western table but also into a position of respect. Three or fewer and the team will prove that they've got a long way to go still.
Anyway, here are a couple of stories I wrote for MLSnet.com on the match; a match preview for the DC-Chivas encounter and a story on Chivas' mentality, which is growing stronger every day.