Chivas anxious to turn the page against Chicago
Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 2014 season can't start soon enough for Chivas USA after another disappointing campaign in 2013.
And the Goats will finally take the field on Sunday at the StubHub Center against the Chicago Fire, a team that also made a number of changes to its side from last season.
After losing the final five games of 2013 by a combined score of 18-2 there was certainly enough incentive for the club to make sweeping changes, starting at the top.
Chivas went through two head coaches on its way to a 6-20-8 record, which was the second worst mark in MLS. The poor performance led to Wilmer Cabrera becoming the new head coach of Chivas, while Major League Soccer purchased the club back from owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.
It will take some time for Chivas to recover and get back into contention for a playoff spot, but there were some positive moves made to get the club going back in the right direction.
Midfielder Mauro Rosales was acquired in a trade with Seattle and he will be responsible for pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch and giving the team a playmaking presence it sorely lacked last term.
Former English Premier League forward Luke Moore was also signed to partner the team's top scorer from last season, Erick Torres, up top.
Torres was one of the few bright spots for Chivas last season as he scored seven goals in only 15 appearances after joining the team in midseason.
The addition of defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste from Portland should also help the league's worst defense, which yielded 67 goals in 34 games last year.
Chicago narrowly missed out on a playoff berth last season under Frank Klopas, but decided to go in another direction with long-time San Jose manager Frank Yallop.
Yallop won a pair of MLS Cups and a Supporters' Shield with the Earthquakes, but he will have to hope a new-look back line is able to come together quickly.
Lovel Palmer, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni are new faces in the back, while the Fire unloaded both Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry despite both players making regular appearances in the starting 11.
The Fire must also hope for another stellar campaign from MLS Most Valuable Player Mike Magee, who joined the club during the season in a trade from the Los Angeles Galaxy and sparked a revival after Chicago's poor start.
But after netting a career-high 21 goals last year, there is some question as to whether Magee can replicate that form. Prior to last season, his career best was seven goals in a single season.
03/07 17:48:13 ET