Saturday, April 18, 2009

Filling the midfield void

Chivas USA will be without Paulo Nagamura tonight. Nagamura picked up a red card against the Galaxy a week ago and will be absent.

Nagamura will leave a gaping hole in the middle of the field. Nagamura's one of Chivas' best and most important players, both with his ability and leadership. I thought he got a bit carried away last week and that temper got the better of him as he kept yapping at the referee and that probably led to a quick yellow on his first booking. He deservedly picked up the second yellow and is now unavailable tonight.

My best guess in terms of filling the hole is with Sacha Kljestan. With Kljestan in the middle, Atiba Harris could slide to the right side of the field and Alecko Eskandarian could get his first start of the season.

Another option would be to move Mariano Trujillo to the right flank, move Carey Talley to right back and have Jim Curtin start in the middle. Curtin's size could match up well against Nate Jaqua, but Curtin's slow and he'll also have Fredy Montero and Fredde Ljungberg to deal with. Talley's not quite as slow as Curtin and might be able to handle that better.

Kasey Keller won't be in goal for Seattle but if anyone thinks that will make for a simple Chivas victory, they're mistaken. Seattle's got a lot of firepower and will put pressure on Chivas' goal. The difference from last week is that Seattle's got multiple weapons up top. Plus, this unit is still difficult to score on. They've allowed one goal in four games, and that was when they were down a man.

I'm looking forward to seeing Seattle in person but would have liked to have seen Keller and seen a full-strength Seattle squad but we'll just have to wait until June 6 for their return visit, at least to see them once again play Chivas.


Anonymous said...

Luis I hope Chivas USA isn't underestimating the back up goal keeper. He might not be as talented as Keller, but he is good. He is also the reason why Chivas USA were kicked out, out of the US open Cup for two consecutive years.

Do you see Chukwudi Chijindu getting some playing time for the goats?
A lot of people are expecting Chivas USA to loss the game. Can you see Chivas USA been the wining underdog? If so, would you say Chivas USA could be a MLS Cup contender?

Anonymous said...

Luis always expect the worse of Chivas USA.
The Goats can go undefeated for the season and he'll still predict doom and have suspicion.

L.B. said...

Second anon, calm down.

First anon, Chijindu got some game action obviously so that's encouraging. He's gotten on Preki's good side apparently, whether it was for that game or overall remains to be seen.

If Chivas wins tonight, then they'll be 4-0-1, most points in the league, unbeaten through the first month or so, and they'll have done so without arguably three of their most important players (Razov, Galindo, Suarez). They've proven a lot of people wrong already and I don't really see that changing.

Anonymous said...

Luis, you're in denial. I know you try not to be, but its quite obvious.

Anyways, you're underwhelming tone and constant skepticism of the Goats migth be what anon #2 was referring to.