Know Your Enemy: Chivas USA

Goals tough to come by for struggling Chivas USA

Chivas USA XI

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USA Today Sports Images

FC Dallas remains on the road for a midweek encounter with conference rivals Chivas USA on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center.

Chivas USA come into this match on a 10-day rest with their last league match ending in a 1-1 draw at home against Colorado. Chivas took the lead in that match just five minutes into it with a goal from Erick Torres, but they were unable to keep the lead as Colorado tied it up late in the match.

Jose Luis Real’s club has just one win in their last 18 matches with only ten goals scored in that span.

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The two clubs last met back on July 4th in a game that ended 0-0. This will be the third and final match of the regular season between Dallas and Chivas. Chivas won the previous meeting in Los Angeles back in March.

Key Matchups

Blas Perez vs Steve Purdy – The former FCD player will likely start in place of the injured Carlos Bocanegra and will immediately be tested when he goes up against Perez. Expect the two veterans to fight their way through this match.

Erick vs Carlos Alvarez – The rookie Alvarez is starting to get more comfortable in Luis Real’s midfield set up. He’ll have the benefit of going up against a new player this week in Erick, who is still getting his fitness up to par.

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Key Player for Chivas

Erick Torres – In just four matches with Chivas, Torres has two goals and one assist. The Chivas Guadalajara loanee has shown well early on since joining the American Chivas outpost earlier this summer. He was on the same U-20 national team in Mexico as FC Dallas keeper Richard Sanchez.

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Injury Watch

Daniel Atunez has been out with ACL reconstruction, Carlos Bocanegra is listed as out with an unspecified injury, and Tim Melia is out with a lumbar discectomy.  The big question marks are Julio Morales (hamstring) and Eric Avila (hip flexor).

Projected Lineup

Ever since Luis Real took over as manager of Chivas he has switched the formation up a bit to a 4-1-4-1 look, which sometimes resembles a 4-5-1. Luis Real will have to shuffle some parts of his lineup due to the suspensions of forward Tristan Bown and midfielder Gabriel Farfan.

Goalkeeper: Dan Kennedy; RB: Marky Delgado, CB: Mario de Luna, Steve Purdy, LB: Josue Soto; RM: Jose Manuel Rivera; CM: Carlos Alvarez, Carlos Borja,; LM: Eric Avila; FW:  Erick Torres, Julio Morales

Keys to three points

Whatever it may be, Chivas always seems to have Dallas’ number. Earlier this season they torched Dallas 3-1 and then followed it up with a 0-0 draw back in July.  Dallas will need to get off to good early start in this one to prove that they can get over the hump against one of the leagues’ worst clubs this season.

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The big thing for Dallas in this match will be playing smart with the possession. Chivas is a youthful team that will cause a lot of problems for teams on and off the ball. Luis Real’s team loves to pressure the ball and will make it difficult to play through the middle of the field. Dallas will need to use the width of the field to keep the possession and create chances.

Up front, Dallas will have to make the most of their chances and pepper Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy with lots of shots. As good as Kennedy is in goal, he is prone to some easy goals if clubs put in a lot of shots on his goal.

This 11-game winless run and 10-game road winless run has to end at some point for FC Dallas. The struggles with Chivas this year are going to be tough to overcome but Dallas has the talent to do it. Veteran players need to step up and find a way to put and end to these streaks as this is the perfect time to do so with the playoffs looming in the distance.