Chivas USA close out the month of September with their final game of 2014, maybe longer, against the Seattle Sounders up in Washington (1 pm PT, TWC Deportes). Both teams are on losing streaks at the moment, but our Goats have the Sounders well beaten in length in that department, with a six-game losing streak to the hosts' two. Which team will emerge in this game? As always, we'll have to watch and see to know for certain.
If you missed it, be sure to check out the Three Questions feature with Dave Clark from Friday.
On to the preview...
Tale of the Tape:
Chivas USA: 24 points (6-17-6), 9th in Western Conference, 18th place overall; Goal Difference: -31 (23/54); Last five matches: L-L-L-L-L
Seattle Sounders: 54 points (17-9-3), 1st in Western Conference, 1st place overall; Goal Difference: 9 (53/44); Last five matches: L-L-W-W-W
Can Chivas hold back the tide of goals of losses? The question entering this game is whether there will be any change for Chivas USA. They've lost six straight, have picked up just one point in their last 11 games, and have scored three goals in that span. Oh, and they've let in 27 goals over those 11 games. Any way you slice it, it's horrible.
So is there reason to believe things will be different for this game? On paper, I hate to say it, but no. The main ray of hope is that Erick Torres is back in the lineup, so there will be at least a glimmer of hope the Goats can score. That's assuming he can get some service and/or a penalty is called. But hey, it's something!
Defensively, woof. Maybe Seattle will be out of sorts and Chivas can really buckle down against a multifaceted attack, maybe Dan Kennedy can have one of those special games, and maybe the team in front of him can hold onto the ball for more than two seconds. Otherwise...it's going to be a long game, most likely.
Why Chivas USA will win this match: Maybe they'll eat their Wheaties, flip over a few tables to get fired up, scream "Arriba las Chivas!!!!!!!!" and race out onto the field to shock the world. The Sounders have been vulnerable at the back lately, letting in seven goals in the last two games, and Cubo is an elite talent. We've seen Chivas put it together a few times this season, and they used to play the Sounders pretty well. It's been awhile, but maybe a change in mentality and a few breaks in their favor will mean three precious points, and we all know that's not something to take for granted.
Why the Sounders will win this match: They are the joint-top team in the league playing the joint-bottom team in the league, for starters. The Sounders also blew CUSA away 4-2 at the beginning of the month, a game that was totally decided in the first 45 minutes. Since Seattle have had a habit of hanging four, five, even six goals against Chivas in recent years, it could get ugly for the visitors, honestly. I think Seattle won't want to drop points, especially with the Supporters' Shield on the line and a winnable game in front of them. I wouldn't be surprised if Sigi Schmid rested a few players, however, since they just played on Wednesday. They lost that game, so the pressure's on a bit, but I won't be surprised if Seattle dare Chivas to show up by playing a weakened lineup. Chances are, it won't make a difference.
Why this game will end in a draw: Methinks this is really unlikely, and would frankly be "win-like" for Chivas, such is the team's state at the moment. A point would draw CUSA closer to the horrible 2013 benchmark, so that would be something. But they've combined for just nine draws this season (Seattle only have three in 2014), and I just don't think it's particularly likely here. But who knows.
Chivas: Nigel Reo-Coker (suspended), Eriq Zavaleta (loan terms), Thomas McNamara (knee), Martin Rivero (knee), Carlos Bocanegra (concussion), Marky Delgado (knee)
Seattle: Zach Scott (ankle - listed as questionable)