- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 10, 2009
- 0 Comments
- Brad Davis, Cam Weaver, Geoff Cameron, Jesse Marsch, Mariano Trujillo, Maykel Galindo, Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Richard Mulrooney, Stuart Holden, Wednesday Preview
Tonight’s western conference battle is a big one. Not only is Major League Soccer getting a primetime clash on ESPN2 on a night without the NBA Finals or the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. But they are also getting the league’s two best clubs showcased in front of a national audience. You really can’t beat that if you ask me right now for a league that needs a boost in terms of eye-balls watching.
Houston comes into tonight’s game red hot, putting their three-game winning streak and eight-game unbeaten streak on the line against the top team in the west and the MLS overall standings – Chivas USA. The AmeriGoats are six points ahead in the standings but Houston does have two games at hand.
The only downer on this game is the fact that both clubs are missing their marquee players at the moment. Houston is lacking Brian Ching to injury and Ricardo Clark to national team duty with the US. Chivas is also missing Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein to national duty as well. So in a way we aren’t seeing either side at full strength.
1. What can Houston do to continue owning the league’s best defense?
It all starts and ends with defense up top. If your strikers and midfielders are defending well then it puts less pressure on your backline and keeper. Houston does it better than anyone though Chivas isn’t far off their pace as they’ve only given up two goals more this season. I think the play out of Stuart Holden in the midfield has been huge lately for Houston which has allowed the Dynamo defense to keep the other clubs off the board in recent games. Also throw in the fact that Houston has made some big changes to their offense these past couple weeks in getting Dominic Oduro and Cam Weaver will really help I think.
Though if you want another unsung heroes for the Orange and their defense you have to give some credit to two guys, Geoff Cameron and Richard Mulrooney. Both are playing very well and I’d say Cameron is playing like an All-Star these days for Houston.
2. What does Chivas need to do to overcome their history at Robertson Stadium?
All-time in Houston the Goats have not played well at all. Six games with four losses, two draws and only one goal scored. Houston in that timeframe has scored 12 goals. Thing is this is not the same Chivas club that we’ve seen the last couple years. Preki has put together a very strong defensive group that is getting results. I do worry though that the absense of Mariano Trujillo (suspended) and Bornstein in the back will hurt this club big time tonight.
Chivas just has to play their style of game. Pack the midfield and wait for their chances. They’re good enough to sneak one by Houston if they play their style tonight. They also need a big game out of young guys like rookie Michael Lahoud and veteran Jesse Marsch.
3. Player to keep an eye out for:
I think if Chivas is to be successful tonight on the road they need a big game out of Paulo Nagamura. He’s been the one guy this season for them that continues to impress me week after week.
This game really should bea good one tonight even with the lack of big names that I mentioned above. I think if there is one club to cool off Houston, even at home, it is Chivas. Thing is I just think Houston is too hot to handle right now and that is why they will pull out the three points tonight at home. They’ve been too good lately and with the new additions I see them making an impact right away. It will be a tight game but Houston pulls it out in the end thanks to the play of guys like Holden and Brad Davis.
WVH Prediction: Houston 1, Chivas 0