Four different players scored for Chivas USA in their preseason finale, a 4-1 triumph over Honduran club Real Espana at Cal State Fullerton Saturday, and all
four, in a way, were newcomers. Francisco Mendoza
and Alecko Eskandarian
, sidelined by injuries for most of the preseason, marked their returns with goals; the others were
scored by Atiba Harris
, acquired from Real Salt Lake during the offseason, and 2008 SuperDraft pick Keith Savage
Harris and Eskandarian are being counted on for depth up
front to avoid a recurrence of last year, when late-season injuries to Ante Razov
and Maykel Galindo
derailed Chivas USA in the playoffs, a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Kansas City, the
first time all season Chivas USA had been blanked in back-to-back games.
Eskandarian scored 10 regular-season goals and four more in the playoffs as D.C. United won the 2004
championship, but in the last three seasons he's suffered concussions and other injuries while scoring just nine goals. Chivas USA is his fourth team in the last two years.
scored four goals in 22 games two years ago playing mostly at forward in his debut MLS season, but garnered just one assist in 21 games last year while wandering as a central midfielder. Restored
to a forward position, he has the power and pace to cause problems, especially running at tired defenders as a sub. Harris scored the first Chivas USA goal by heading in a Razov cross and earned
an assist on Mendoza's tally.
Galindo is recovering from sports hernia surgery and didn't play against Real España, so he may not be ready to go a full 90 minutes when the season
kicks off this weekend.
has added depth in other areas as well, signing Raphael Wicky
and bringing back Mendoza to shore up midfield, and nabbing Fire veteran
and ex-Galaxy defender Eric Ebert
in trades as cover in the back. Alex Zotinca
suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee March 5 at the Texas Pro
Soccer Festival and may miss the entire season, so more bodies are needed as Lawson Vaughn
figures to get most of the minutes at right back.