Match Preview: FCD at Chivas USA
All-time Record: Dallas holds a slight edge with a 6-5-4 record
against the Goats
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What’s at Stake?
Chivas USA is in the midst of a five-game losing streak that the team
cannot afford to extend. The Goats are in desperate need of points
against Dallas in order to start digging themselves out of a five-point
hole at the bottom of the Western Conference. It won't be easy though,
especially now that playmaker Sacha Kljestan has
departed for Belgium. The addition of holding midfielder Paulo Nagamura
helps in the center but who will drive the attack?
A win for Dallas, who have been up and down all season, could help
the team leapfrog in-state rivals Houston and jump into fourth place.
The key will be getting Jeff Cunningham, last
year's Golden Boot winner, into a groove. He has only four goals so far
Chivas USA started the 2009 season on a tear, winning five of their
first seven matches. The streak included two separate victories over
Dallas, the second of which came on April 25th in Carson. The
Red-and-White went ahead in the 68th minute through Atiba Harris, and they iced the game in the
90th with a strike from Alecko Eskandarian.
Atiba Harris played for Chivas USA and Marcelo Saragosa played
for FC Dallas? The two were swapped on July 17th of last year, and have
stayed with their new clubs this season. This game will be the first
time that each faces his former team, so expect plenty of motivation
from each to prove his worth to his old side.
Heroes & Villains
Brek Shea vs. Jorge Flores. These two youngsters were
teammates on the USA U-20 National Team last summer at the 2009 FIFA
U-20 World Cup. Since returning home, both have become important pieces
of their club sides, though Shea's star of late has been on a faster
trajectory than Flores'. They could square up against each other on the
Jeff Cunningham vs. Michael Umaña. With Jonathan Bornstein
still away at The World Cup, Umaña has become something of a leader in
the center of the Chivas USA defense. The Costa Rican international will
have his hands full with Cunningham on Saturday. The 34-year-old
veteran is second on the all-time MLS goalscoring list with 121 strikes
and has already notched four this season.
Stat that makes you go “Hm…”
There isn’t one player on the Chivas USA roster who has scored on
Dallas in the last 12 months. Chivas USA scored four goals on FC Dallas
in 2009, recording 2-0 victories against the Texans on both March 29th
and April 25th. The goals were scored by Atiba Harris, Alecko
Eskandarian, Bojan Stepanovic, and Eduardo Lillingston, none of whom are currently
listed on the Chivas USA roster.
He Said It
“We’re focused on our skills right now; we’re not thinking about
Dallas. They’re a good team, but in our recent games, we didn’t get any
points because of our own mistakes. We’re just trying to fix those
mistakes and to be sharp with the ball. If we’re able to do that, we’re
going to have a lot of chances to win games.” — Chivas USA defender Mariano Trujillo