MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 17, 2008
(All times Eastern)
D.C. (2-5-0) at Chivas USA (1-4-2), 10:30 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - D.C. United and Chivas USA, the Major League
Soccer Eastern and Western Conference leaders in the regular season a year
ago, square off on Saturday at the Home Depot Center looking to turn their
disappointing starts to the 2008 campaign around.
United, which is coming off its second consecutive Supporters' Shield, leads
MLS with five losses and sits in the basement of the Eastern table, while
Chivas is just one point up on the expansion San Jose Earthquakes at the
bottom of the Western table.
The Goats lost their third consecutive game at The Home Depot Center and saw
their winless streak reach five games in their last fixture, a 2-1 loss to the
New England Revolution this past Sunday.
"It was a very, very strange game especially in the first half," Chivas USA
coach Preki said after the loss to the Revs. "We had two or three really good
chances and we don't put the ball into the net. Next thing you know, one ball
over the top and we are 1-0 down. After that, I think that kind of took the
wind out of us and we had a tough time for the next 25 minutes."
It doesn't help that Chivas USA is playing with a lineup depleted by injuries.
Three members of the backline who were slated to open the season
as starters - Jonathan Bornstein, Lawson Vaughn, Alex Zotinca - are on the
shelf with injuries and will miss at least the next month of action. Zotinca
will miss significantly more than that after having ACL surgery just before
the season started.
"It looks like every time we go out to training or a game you don't know
what's going to happen, somebody goes down," Preki said. "Bornstein went down
on Thursday on a fluke incident; there was nobody around him. It is what it
is, you know; what we have is what we have. We have to make sure we're ready
for next game, so no crying about it."
D.C. United surly won't be the one to hand the goats a tissue, especially with
its own injury concerns. Star winger Ben Olsen has been out all season with an
ankle injury that threatens his career, while Fred and Marcelo Gallardo have
missed games with muscle strains, although they should return on Saturday
"We seem to lack confidence in playing - I think once we get down a goal
everyone kind of shrugs and puts their tail between their legs," D.C. coach
Tom Soehn said. "We don't really have anything to lose right now. We're at the
bottom of the table and we can only go up. We just need to start coming out
and playing like we know to play and everyone needs to get a swagger in their
step. But that's only going to come with getting a result."
And to do that United need to give a better overall effort on the road
"One thing that we have to get right now is how much effort we're putting in,"
Soehn said, "making sure that we're focused on doing the things that we can
control. Right now we've taken some shortcuts and everybody's held
accountable. So at this point, the guys that are able to do that are going to
play, and the guys who aren't, aren't."
05/15 20:38:13 ET