Thursday, August 14, 2008

High stakes

Chivas USA-Galaxy is a big game. We all are pretty much aware of that.

But it's also a game that can cost people their jobs.
History dictates as much.

In trying to figure out a different angle for this match, I decided to pursue the high-stakes angle. There are probably lots of stories written about Cobi Jones in the papers this morning but I chose to look at Jones' arrival in terms of him being the latest person affected by this rivalry. Actually, it was his predecessor Ruud Gullit and former teammate/boss Alexi Lalas who were affected the most as they were both removed from their jobs this week.

And it wasn't exactly a coincidence that Chivas USA was on the schedule either. A win over Chivas and things might not seem so bad. Maybe it gives the Galaxy confidence that they can right the ship and then if they do it becomes more difficult to remove the coach and/or GM.

That was the case with Steve Sampson. He had been twisting in the wind for weeks and the Galaxy had their early season struggles in 2006, not being able to score or win much in the first part of the season. It was before a Chivas game that he met his fate. It was easier to fire him before a Chivas game than after a possible win over Chivas.

On the other side of the field, Thomas Rongen was fired after a loss to the Galaxy. Amado Guevara was removed from the team after a loss to the Galaxy. And Shawn Hunter was presented the day before a game against the Galaxy.

Those are lots of big moves from both sides. That they happened to come before or after a Clasico is no coincidence.


Anonymous said...

Great point Luis. I believe you definitely have something here. CUSA is much weaker than LAG right now. The Gals are essentially the same team they were all year. They are better than their record shows, I think do to questionable tactical moves and bad player decisions. Their defense is weak and their mids need tweaking, but they are salvagable. Their moral has only one way to go and that's up.

I also think that some of those Chivas-Galaxy games of earlier years were more or less thought of as "lay-ups," or sure W's. And a "win" and/or a "move" at those strategic times could and probably has spun or shaped some of their season/destiny. Back then the Galaxy still had swagger before CUSA parity.

My take on the game is the Gals should win tonight if they do not start Ruiz. Save him for the 70th or 80th+ as he screws up the attacking chemistry. Becks and LD are just too good to keep down for long- naturally. Goals are a universal salve and they wiil happen. At least by default, as sh** happens some could argue. They're still showcasing Fish anyway, right? Score: 3-2 Galaxy.

Anonymous said...

Chivas USA is more weak at this moment do to injuries and the lack of a good goal keeper. Guzan is gone, and our players are injured. Don't expect us to give up that easy though. We will play a physical game, and will strike.