MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Seattle (11-6-7) at Chivas USA (7-9-6), 10:30 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - Chivas USA sits just six points off the bottom
of the Western Conference, but it may be in the best position of any team not
in the top five to move into a postseason spot.
Chivas has played the fewest matches in the West, and is tied for the fewest
played in MLS, and needs to overcome a 10-point deficit over the remainder of
the season to secure a top-five finish and a playoff berth.
With at least two matches in hand on every team in the Western Conference, and
as many as five, a late run could propel the club into the second season.
First, Chivas USA (7-9-6) needs to start securing points at home, beginning on
Saturday when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC (11-6-7) at The Home Depot Center.
Chivas has accumulated just 11 points at home this season, and with five games
remaining at home, will need to earn as many points as possible to extend its
Coach Robin Fraser made a number of changes to the lineup last week to produce
a 1-1 tie at the Colorado Rapids.
Tristan Bowen made his season debut, Oswaldo Minda returned from injury, Casey
Townsend made his first start since April 1, Alejandro Moreno made his first
start in four matches and Jorge Villafana made his first start since July 7.
Juan Pablo Angel scored the tying goal, notching his fourth this year. Chivas
needed the point, but it needs a full three points this week.
"We know where we are and we know what we need to do and we'll take the point,
but certainly our realization is we have to start winning more games," Fraser
said last week.
"In our situation, we look at every game now as a game where we want to get
three points. We would have loved to have gotten more, but certainly, given
the way the game went, we'll take the point and move on."
Seattle and Chivas tied 1-1 in May, and the Sounders visit the Goats on a good
run of form with three wins in their last four matches. The Sounders have lost
just three times in 12 road games this season, earning three wins and six ties
away from CenturyLink Field.
Last week, Seattle defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 2-0, as Fredy Montero and
Eddie Johnson scored goals.
"I always get a special joy when we win a game and we get a Fredy Montero
and an Eddie Johnson goal," Schmid said. "I think it substantiates what we're
trying to do with those two guys. When you start adding it up now, they are
among the three or four best combinations in the league."
Schmid admitted his team is still coming together, as Christian Tiffert played
next to Mauro Rosales in midfield last week together to form a new partnership
for the Sounders.
"With new players coming in, you still have to find - and it will take some
time - the right mix and to see how it mixes together the right way," Schmid
Seattle is just seven points off the top with a match in hand on the first-
place San Jose Earthquakes and two in hand on second-place Real Salt Lake, and
it needs points to remain in the title hunt.
08/24 19:24:20 ET