By: Mario Melara
If you are a Chivas USA fan, is now the time to panic?
Losers of six straight MLS games. Currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference standings. Having managed to only win 3 games all season (tied for league worst), and are also tied for most losses in the MLS this season with nine.
With the flurry of moves and changes within Chivas USA team these past couple of days, before Saturday’s key matchup against the Philadelphia Union, the obvious answer is yes. Chivas USA is a team who proudly celebrates its special ties to its sister team Club Deportivo Guadalajara, Mexico’s most popular soccer club. To be sitting in last place represents much more than failure, but disgrace, and an embarrassment to all of its Chivas USA fans.
Hoping to avoid their seventh straight loss this weekend, changes are immediately in effect. Out is Brazilian Maicon Santos, who has been used
Photo from fOTOGLIF
only sparingly as a substitute this season and only scoring one goal. Joining him on a one-way ticket out of Los Angeles is Costa Rican midfielder Macotelo, who has only managed to appear three times all season, all as a substitute.
Back for Chivas USA is defender Jonathan Bornstein, who had a great showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for team USA. His presence in the back line will help sure a defense that has already allowed 20 goals in only 13 MLS matches.
The biggest news of the week was the re-signing of Brazilian defensive midfielder Paulo Nagamura, who starred for Red-and-White from 2007-2009. His creativity, vision, and great passing skills will help fill some of the void left by Sacha Kljestan, who has left the team for Belgium side Anderlecht.
Earlier this week I suggested that what Chivas USA truly needed was someone in the middle to help compliment the emergence of Chivas USA star Osael Romero, who had a breakout game against FC Dallas. Either the Chivas USA front office management team are mind readers, or they follow us religiously here on 90:00 Soccer Magazine. Either way, I am impressed on how quickly the made that move. This tandem is what Chivas USA needs to help create more scoring chances and give them a chance to win games.
So up next is the Philadelphia Union, the newly MLS expansion team, who fortunately for Chivas USA, sits in last place of the Eastern Conference standings. Don’t be fooled by this matchup of bottom-dwelling teams. This game is going to be an all out battle. Philadelphia comes into this match with upbeat spirits, after defeating the Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 in their last match. With the three-headed offensive monster of Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga, and Alejandro Moreno, this team can score, and score quickly.
The key to this matchup will take place in the midfield. If Chivas USA can control possession, dictate their tempo and style of play, they should be fine and come out with a win. If we see the Chivas USA of last weekend, who played sloppy in the middle and lost too much possession of the ball, then we are in for a long night.
Look out for a great performance from Mikel Galindo. All week, all he has heard is that he has lost a step, and that he is no longer the explosive forward that we saw in 2008. Nothing would be better for Chivas USA fans than to celebrate a win, by seeing both fireworks on the field and also after the game.