Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Chivas USA aims for top in Big D
by Ridge Mahoney, October 11th, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  mls


[MLS TV PREVIEW] These Western Conference foes haven't played since the Fourth of July, when a 2-0 Dallas victory over Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park reversed a loss by the same score in late May at Home Depot Center. Since that last meeting, Brazilians Denilson and Ricardinho have relocated in Texas, a player has been traded from one team to the other, Carlos Ruiz has picked up a suspension that rules him out of Thursday's game, Dallas has clinched a playoff spot, and Chivas USA has climbed up the overall standings to challenge for the league's best record.

FC DALLAS (13-11-4) vs. CHIVAS USA (15-6-6)
Thursday, 9 pm ET, ESPN2

FCD has the home-field advantage, yet in addition to Ruiz's suspension, it will be missing defender Clarence Goodson (hamstring), Pablo Richetti (groin) and Marcelo Saragosa (knee).

Goodson hobbled off during last week's 3-1 victory over the Crew that clinched a playoff spot. FCD rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit with an Arturo Alvarez equalizer and two late strikes by Abe Thompson, who, when paired with Dominic Oduro up front, gives FCD a frightening amount of pace and movement. Keeper Ray Burse held off a fusillade of Columbus shots until his teammates got into the swing and equalized three minutes into the second half.

The move of Adrian Serioux from the back line to midfield has added to Coach Steve Morrow's selection woes, yet his range allows Juan Toja and Denilson to find spots where they can be effective. Serioux might be needed in the back with Goodson injured, or Drew Moor could fill in as he did last week when Bobby Rhine replaced Goodson and played right back. Defender Alex Yi is doubtful because of back spasms and suffered a concussion after playing just 17 minutes as a sub in the Open Cup final Oct. 3.

Ramon Nunez, who scored for Dallas in the July 4 game before being traded to Chivas USA, has been called to the Honduran national team and won't be available to face the team that benched him. Oduro scored a late clincher for FCD in that game.

Chivas USA beat Real Salt Lake, 3-2, last week despite missing Maykel Galindo (suspended) and Ante Razov (hamstring). Laurent Merlin and rookie John Cunliffe started up top and Cunliffe scored twice, with the first goal coming on a feed from Merlin. The victory improved Chivas USA's road record to 5-6-3, fifth best in the league.

Razov and Galindo are the likely starters against Dallas. In the first meeting, Galindo broke open a goalless game by stripping Toja of the ball and nailing a 30-yarder, and Razov embarrassed keeper Dario Sala in stoppage by rolling home a shot from midfield with Sala stranded out of his net.

Dallas can still overhaul Houston for second place in the Western Conference and earn homefield advantage for the first playoff round. Yet it hasn't been all that much in Frisco (7-4-2). It is the only team to have scored fewer goals at home (17) than it has on the road (20), and has the poorest goal differential at home (plus 2) of any team that has clinched a playoff spot.

Since both teams could field a pair of attacking outside midfielders, whoever prevails in those duels is likely to win. Chivas USA's Francisco Mendoza and Sacha Kljestan are more defensively conscious than Denilson and Alvarez, and FCD has yet to find a dependable left back. Yet Denilson contributed at both ends of the field against New England in the Open Cup and if he lines up on the left could keep Kljestan and Co. very busy. And vice versa.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives