So I've filed my last preview story ahead of Saturday's Chivas USA-Real Salt Lake game and, of course, I have some quotes that didn't make it. In general, you want to get more info than you need no matter the story. For that sake, it's good to have somewhere to put that stuff.
The Touchline serves that purpose.
Here's what didn't make it into my stories for this week.
I asked Jesse about the result on Saturday and whether or not that would be on their minds at the start of the game.
"For me, part of it is remembering Saturday’s game and remembering the feeling we had, the feeling of disappointment at the end. We have to now come back to our place and know that they are going to come and put the same kind of effort in and that we’ve got to raise our level and now be the team that’s dictating the pace, dictating the physicality and see if we can make them feel like we felt when we were there."
When you consider the experience on the roster, Chivas USA should not face a scenario that is unfamiliar to most of the squad. After all, Chivas USA has seven players on its roster who have won an MLS Cup and five are likely starters - Marsch, Ante Razov, Carey Talley, Alecko Eskandarian and Paulo Nagamura. Zach Thornton and Sasha Victorine are the others. That's not to mention Claudio Suarez who has a wealth of experience.
Jesse said RSL had two but I'll take his word for it.
Anyway, that's got to count for something, right? I asked Jesse how the could use that to their advnatge.
"They showed a lot of youthful enthusiasm and really came out of the game feeling like they played in a lot of playoff games and that the pressure was almost off of them which they really went after it and they deserve credit for how they played in that game. I hope that in some crazy moments in this game we have a few more guys on the field who are able to make sense of things, calm things down when they need to be, win tackles when they need to be won and really understand what this game is going to take."
Injuries have played a prominent role in Chivas USA's season. Eskandarian has been one of many to have missed time with injury. And even when it looked like he was healthy, he missed the first leg of the playoffs with a knee injury. He said he's better and was looking forward to playing but we'll see what happens.
Anyway, I asked Alecko how he felt the injury situation has affected the team's goals.
"Regardless of the goals that we set, we’re a quality team. I’ve been on championship teams, I’ve been on some very good teams and I know we have some good players on this team. We have the potential to be a good team. It’s frustrating with all the injures, scheduling, so many things have gone wrong for us but at the end of the day those are excuses and we’re not going to really buy into that stuff. We just need to go out there on Saturday, take care of business and then it’ll be a crap shoot for MLS Cup."
I also asked him about the necessity of winning the game. I explored the theme a bit more in my PE story for Saturday but this didn't make it. Alecko simply said they need to win not because Chivas USA haven't ever won a playoff series but rather...
"I feel like we need to win because we should win. We are the better team. We finished in second place and Salt Lake finished in third so we proved our value over the course of the season. There is no added pressure."