Sunday, March 9, 2008

Preseason opinions

A Chivas USA official contacted me to voice dissatisfaction with my preview of the team. He objected to my writing that the team had brought in one key forward, noting the team had also signed Atiba Harris.

This I knew. I also knew that Harris scored exactly zero goals last season. I was focusing the preview on who I thought could contribute to the squad. I'm not terribly optimistic about Eskandarian regaining his form, but unlike Harris, he has scored many goals in the past. Eskandarian struggled last season, scoring twice, with three assists. Harris, though, had only one assist in 21 games of action. (Harris has now been added to the preview.)

Another bone of contention for this Chivas USA employee was my point that Razov and Galindo did not combine well last season. Actually, it's Chivas USA coach Preki that backs me up on this one. Repeatedly in interviews last year, he'd give credit to his two forwards for playing well, but then add that he believed they could work much better together. He told me specifically that they should be getting more assists from each other.

For the record, according to the team staffer, Razov and Galindo did assist each other on seven of Chivas USA's goals last season. Harris, the staffer notes, has scored for the team in their preseason action.

See, that's where perspectives differ. I just don't see Harris as a reliable goalscorer. I still think Razov and Galindo need to improve their partnership.

No matter who thinks what, though, time and the actual games during the season will tell the tale of whose perspective was more valid.


Eugene said...


I'm surprised you chose Brad Guzan as your "breakout player to watch" considering Guzan had his break out year last year, when he was named the top goalkeeper. There isn't really much he can do in MLS to top his performance last year, so I don't understand how he's going to "breakout" in 2008.

I would have thought Panchito Mendoza, Jorge Flores or John Cunliffe would have made more sense there. Mendoza because, although he has shown himself to be quick and a good crosser, he has yet to show himself to be a serious scoring threat though that aspect of his game was coming out a bit at the end of last season.

A.C. said...

I took the "Breakout player to watch" element literally, as I hoped I made clear in that section. Basically, I think Brad is so talented that he'll be gone soon, and it's the last chance for MLS fans to see him at all before he breaks out - abroad.

In other words, I tried to be clever and twist it slightly - Brad is leaving (breaking away) so watch him while you can.

Panchito would, you're right, have made a good choice in the traditional definition of the category, for the exact reason you mention. He hasn't scored much, though he keeps the game flowing and has attacking skill.

Anonymous said...

Fear the redhead.

just another one of you said...

So you changed your article b/c some staffer called you? I think you were right in the first place, and shouldn't have changed anything regardless. Chivas staffers should spend more time selling tickets and less reading

Anonymous said...


I can't believe you changed your story. You were right to think Harris is not a "key" forward. Like you said yourself, he scored ZERO goals last year. I think he needs to prove it on the field first, but that's just me. That CUSA employee has some cojones to suggest you add Harris to your story. You should NOT have listened to him.

A.C. said...

I didn't change the story. That was an editor's choice and change, not mine.

ELAC! said...

Thank you leaving Harris out. Hopefully, this will motivate him to score more and foul less.

Atiba, if you reading this, SCORE SOME DAMN GOALS!

Anonymous said...


sorry. I got the impression that you had added Atiba's name to the story. I just checked the link and the change is just in the additions line. Still...Chivas USA should worry about other things than making sure who is considered a "key" addition and who is not.

just another one of you said...

AC, thanks for not changing your story, and for clearing that up.

The Chivas front office is living high off of players who have turned out much better than anyone imagined going in, and that goes for the coach too. Amado, Atiba, and Alecko are/were all bad choices indicative of a trend that Chivas brass can not evaluate talent consistently. They have obviously made some good decisions but I agree with you that they seem headed for a rough crash against the wall of better competition that awaits them. Your review is spot on.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

a.c., don't be surprised that an MLS staffer will try to intimidate you regarding what you write. That happened to me last year (an incident that I won't elaborate upon here).

The fundamental problem with most people in sports media relations is that 1) they try to spin too many things and 2) they have no idea about what reporters, bloggers and broadcasters have to go through to do their jobs. They may be well-skilled in corporate communications but they're all too busy trying to put the best gloss on things. That will be a problem with the Galaxy; putting an Armani suit on a pig won't make the pig more attractive. These media-relations types would be best served by ignoring what's written; they come off as obsessive and controlling when they don't, and reporters hate obsessive, controlling spin doctors.