Chivas USA are in Massachusetts ahead of their only game of 2014 against the New England Revolution on Saturday. In order to get a sense of what's happening with the annual opponents who share the Goats' colors, we spoke with Steve Stoehr of SB Nation Revs blog The Bent Musket to find out what's been going on with his team. Many thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer my questions!
The Goat Parade asks The Bent Musket:
1. Like Chivas USA, New England had a hot stretch but have struggled quite a bit since then. Why have the Revolution been struggling so much, and do you see reason for their luck to change this week?
I think they've been struggling for two reasons. First of all, you're looking at a team that overachieved in a really, really hot streak. They were absolutely not the best team in the East, even when they were playing like it. There is considerable talent and potential in this squad, but not that kind of ability. Furthermore, they just don't have the kind of chemistry that this streak showed off, for whatever reason. There are too many delayed passes, bad runs, and slow feet. To get an idea of what I mean, you just have to look at the games played before the winning streak. They had one win in like five or six matches, and played with no composure whatsoever.
The other reason is that they were playing teams coming off midweek games and cross-country travel. Some analysts pointed this out early, and the club was quick to defend itself by saying you have to play the schedule you are given. That's true, but it doesn't make it any less true that tired opponents are easier pickings. The Revs feasted on those opponents, and have since struggled with teams that are rested and ready for them.
2. All of a sudden, Charlie Davies, who once scored a hat trick on the Goats, has started scoring again. Do you think he's finally rounding into form, and is it opening things up for the Revs' attack overall?
I think he's definitely opening things up, sure. This is probably a case of riding the hot hand, though. It's no accident that Charlie hadn't scored in two years before that, and he's not the player he once was before the accident in 2009. Then again, he's also a lot more experienced, and he had a great scoring record for D.C. Since he's scoring, he's definitely the most in-form attacker in the side right now, but I want to wait a few more games to see if he's really "rounding into form."
3. I think it's safe to say that CUSA and New England fans have felt a sense of kinship at times over their respective neglectful owners. With big changes for Chivas this year, have there been any changes (on a smaller scale, of course) for the Revolution in how they're being run in 2014? What's the outlook on the club looking forward?
Well, they made a public run at Jermaine Jones, so that's a welcome change. Otherwise, not really. The transfer market for this club has been horrifically disappointing all season. Picking up Teal Bunbury was great and all, but he hasn't produced, and the Revs have operated with a light roster for the entirety of the 2014 season. None of the acquisitions have been particularly impactful, except Bunbury, who again hasn't done as much as advertised.
It's not just the transfer market. An article in Boston Magazine recently called out the ownership as the worst in MLS. Jonathan Kraft responded by saying he was never contacted by the writer in question, Kevin Alexander. Kevin contacted me for that article and I talked to him about his attempts to reach Jonathan. Whether Kevin did enough to reach them or not, the fact that a number of MLS pundits and respected figures agreed with this premise enough should be eye-opening for everyone. Jonathan's response tells me they still feel like they're operating in a perfectly acceptable manner, which they haven't since about 2005.
The Jones pursuit is a step in the right direction, though. While this club's advancement pace tends to be glacial, at least there is some advancement. We'll take what we can get here. If they continue to take risks like that, I think we're looking good for the future. Or at least better.
4. (Bonus) Prediction for this game?
I predict a thrilling (sarcasm) 1-1 draw, with the Revs dominating the first half but only scoring once, and then Cubo Torres embarrassing the entire defense to score a second-half equalizer.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!