Chivas USA are back in action straightaway from Sunday's dispiriting loss to the LA Galaxy, with a game against the Supporters' Shield leading Seattle Sounders at "home" (7:30 pm PT, TWC Deportes). With the games coming thick and fast, the Goats will likely be looking to react to what's coming at them and try to grab any kind of result they can. Will we see a different team than the one that played against the Galaxy, both figuratively and literally? Perhaps. We'll find out this evening.
For now, let's preview this match:
Tale of the Tape:
Chivas USA: 24 points (6-13-6), 9th in Western Conference, 18th place overall; Goal Difference: -19 (21/40); Last five matches: L-L-D-L-L
Seattle Sounders: 48 points (15-7-3), 1st in Western Conference, 1st place overall; Goal Difference: 11 (44/33); Last five matches: W-W-D-L-W
Do Chivas have any hope in this game? As it so often happens when the team is beaten by their rivals, we're precariously close to the MLS season completely swallowing up Chivas in a cloud of poor play, demoralization on and off the field, and bad loss after bad loss. Add to that a Sounders team eager to grab every win they can in order to keep pace in the Supporters' Shield race, and the teams' recent track record (Chivas haven't beaten Seattle since 2009, and the Sounders have posted six straight wins over the Goats).
The reality is this team, much like this club overall, is in absolute flux right now, and that's reflected in the product. Players are coming in and departing, key players on both ends are hurt or gone for good, and the players who are left just can't plug the holes. Chivas have the worst goal difference in the league, and have scored the fewest goals. This could get ugly very fast.
On the other hand, it's MLS. You just never know.
Why Chivas will win this game: Records fall at some point, so if Chivas can nip that lengthy scoreless streak and catch Seattle in an unusually casual/out of sorts mood, maybe they can grab a win. Other than that...yeah, I'm coming up empty-handed. The Sounders are heavy favorites, and Chivas are not good. Being at "home" is no advantage whatsoever. Oh, and they're playing this game 74.5 hours after their last one, so there will probably be some shuffling in the lineup or fatigue if the starters stay in. So I can't paint a picture of optimism here, unfortunately.
Why the Sounders will win this game: Again, they have the Goats' number, and they are considerably better than Chivas. And since they don't have a game this weekend to worry about, they will probably look to play mostly starters, even though they are on short rest too (though not as short as Chivas'). And the Sounders have hung four, five, six goals on Chivas in recent years. If they get off to a hot start and Chivas can't muster any offense (and there are few indications they can), it could be a very long night for CUSA.
Why this game will end in a draw: Although I keep saying midweek games end in ties more often, it hasn't seemed like that as much in 2014. Still, short rest, players coming in and out of the lineup, routines altered, etc. A draw could certainly happen. Honestly, this should be a good result for Chivas, barring a terrible collapse (which has happened more than once against Seattle over the years). But it still seems like an uphill battle just to get a point in this game.
Chivas: Erick Torres (international duty), Carlos Bocanegra (concussion), Thomas McNamara (knee), Martin Rivero (knee)
Seattle: Marco Pappa (international duty)