Chivas USA meet the New England Revolution for the first and only time in 2014 later today (4:30 pm PT, TWC Deportes). Both teams are coming off draws after a pretty rough patch, and there's considerable concerns that both teams are going to slide their way through the season. On the other hand, both teams do have the ability to play well from time to time, so heading into this one, it's wide open. Which one will emerge? We'll find out tonight.
If you missed it, be sure to check out the Three Questions for this game from Friday.
Let's preview this match!
Tale of the Tape:
Chivas USA: 24 points (6-11-6), 9th place in Western Conference, 18th place overall; Goal Difference: -15 (21/36); Last five matches: D-L-L-L-L
New England Revolution: 27 points (8-12-3), 6th place in Eastern Conference, 13th place overall; Goal Difference: -6 (30/36); Last five matches: D-L-W-L-L
Who will play for Chivas? Ok, we have a reasonable idea of who will be playing in some positions. Dan Kennedy, Erick Torres, a couple other guys. But with the final third of the season here, this team is in considerable flux at the moment. Injuries, arrivals and departures to the roster mean that there could be a surprise or two in Wilmer Cabrera's lineup in Foxborough.
In defense, the center back situation could see some shifts with Bobby Burling off the injury report for the first time in quite some time and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado joining the team via trade on Friday (it's unclear if he'll be thrown onto the field straightaway, but it's certainly possible). That could shift the fullback situation around as well, if Tony Lochhead keeps his place in the lineup.
Beyond that, it seems pretty likely Felix Borja will pair up top with Cubo again, after a promising MLS debut last week, and with Mauro Rosales out and Nigel Reo-Coker in, the midfield is perhaps the most unsettled from the outside. How will Cabrera organize the midfield? Will Reo-Coker be in line to make his club debut? There could be several new faces for the Goats in this game, and it will be interesting to see if the "new look" CUSA will have better prospects on the field.
Why Chivas will win this match: It's a long road trip, but overall, the Goats have played quite well against Eastern Conference opposition this season. Add to that the struggles the Revs have had of late, and if Chivas play well on both ends, they can certainly grab a win in this game. And who knows - perhaps the recent trades this week will motivate the players who remain on the team to play their very best. But the big test in this game will be to see if CUSA can score. They've gone more than four games without a goal, and the longer that streak goes on, obviously the more it will loom over the team. So if they can get a goal (or more), either from Cubo or anybody, it can hopefully get the team back on track. Defense is important too, of course, but the attack's probably going to be the priority in this game.
Why New England will win this match: They're at home, for starters. And while their lows have arguably been lower than Chivas' this season, their highs have been higher, too. In all likelihood, this is a fairly even match, but with the Revs playing at home (on turf, no less, which could really throw CUSA for a loop), they have an edge. And the experts are heavily favoring them as well. With the likes of Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, and Kelyn Rowe, they can score early and often, and Chivas are not a team that can compete in a shootout should that happen.
Why this game will end in a draw: Again, given the topsy-turvy nature of both teams' seasons to date, it's really hard to pin down an outcome for this game. As a result, a tie might be the most likely outcome. I think both teams think a win is realistic, and it is, but this could lead to a stalemate in the end. With the Goats' playoff hopes all but gone, a point on the road wouldn't be a horrible result.
Chivas: Thomas McNamara (knee), Martin Rivero (knee), Carlos Bocanegra (concussion), Marvin Chavez (hip)
Revolution: Andy Dorman (knee), Chris Tierney (knee), Kevin Alston (hamstring - listed as questionable)