MLS Thursday Night Preview: Conference Leaders Clash

MLS Thursday Night Preview: Conference Leaders Clash

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 28, 2009
  • Brian McBride, Chris Rolfe, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Marco Pappa, MLS Primetime Thursday, Sacha Kljestan, Thursday Preview
Marco Pappa and Chicago face Carey Tally and Chivas USA tonight. (Getty Images)

Marco Pappa and Chicago face Carey Tally and Chivas USA tonight. (Getty Images)

This seems to be a running theme as of late, conference leaders clashing each weekend. Oh wait, that is because Chivas USA continues to play clubs from the east when they are at the top of the east. Okay, I get it now. Anyways this should be a real interesting game tonight when the league leading Goats host the Fire in a prime-time clash on ESPN2.

The game kicks off a little late for you east coast folks (10:30ET). I haven’t decided if tonight will be a twittering during the game kind of night like last night or not here. All depends on the amount of time that I have later on this evening. I may just enjoy the game without the use of a computer in front of me.

Anyways, if you have a score prediction for tonight, leave it below.

1. Is Chivas starting to slide?

One has to wonder with their last two results if the AmeriGoats are starting to hit a wall. They’ve given up goals in spots that they weren’t at the start of the season and aren’t putting away clubs like we had seen. Then again it is almost expected for that kind of thing to take place when you get this big of a jump on everyone to start a season. The thing is there is one club that is starting to get real close to the Goats in the standings, and that is Chicago.

The Fire are still undefeated here and are really picking things up these days on the field with a couple wins lately. Guys like Chris Rolfe have been the big part of that so I would expect Chivas to play a bit tighter tonight defensively to slow down the Fire attack.

2. What does the Fire have to do to stay undefeated?

Its is as simple as playing their game and controlling the midfield with guys like Marco Pappa and Blanco. Lately the Fire have done everything right in terms of controlling the game and keeping as much pressure of their defense as possible. It also hasn’t hurt that their defense has really come together a good bit in recent weeks to now allow as many goals as they were earlier in the year.

Chicago also has to spread Chivas out. The AmeriGoats do well in controlling tight spaces but when you spread them out they can tend to get exposed a bit more. The Fire are excellent at using the wings and sending balls into the box for Rolfe and Brian McBride.

3. Player to keep an eye out for.

Sacha Kljestan has to be the big factor in this game for Chivas. We know he has struggled so far this season but this could be a great time to showcase his talents and get back into the spotlight for his club.

Quick Thoughts:

We really have an excellent matchup tonight on our hands. The league’s best defensive club (Chivas) against the best offensive club (Chicago). While Chivas doesn’t score as many goals they have scored a bunch at home this year. I have a feeling it will be a tight game with loads of fouls (Chivas leads in fouls committed and Chicago is near the top if fouls suffered).

In the end it does scream a draw with the way things are going this season but I like the Fire here to continue on their winning and inch closer to Chivas in the standings. Something out the last couple weeks with Chivas worries me a bit about this club and I think the Fire will expose that a bit more tonight. Then again I could be totally wrong and see Chicago’s undefeated mark end tonight but I’m going with my gut feeling here.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, Chivas 1

  • Vnice

    I think it's pretty lousy that you turned off your comments for the World Football Challenge contest. Too much backlash for you?

  • Vnice

    I think it’s pretty lousy that you turned off your comments for the World Football Challenge contest. Too much backlash for you?