Season Recap: Chivas USA

Season Recap: Chivas USA

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 10, 2009
  • 2009 Season Recaps, Eduardo Lillingston, Jesus Padilla, Jonathan Bornstein, Maykel Galindo, Preki, Sacha Kljestan, Zach Thornton
Chivas USA was a surprise early on in 2009, but they faded quickly in the summer months.  (Getty Images)

Chivas USA was a surprise early on in 2009, but they faded quickly in the summer months. (Getty Images)

It seems like every season or so we get one club that comes out hot to start the season then to only fade in the summer. In 2009 it was Chivas USA who was just that club as they went 7-2-3 to start the first couple months of the season. Nearly half of the season total 45 points came in that stretch of time. Preki had plenty of issues with injuries but this lineup kept plugging away at wins after wins.

But just like clubs before Chivas, the summer was a rough patch for Preki’s group. June hit and so did the schedule as the AmeriGoats had a super fall in SuperLiga. Stars like Sacha Kljestan never seemed to show up with the club needed them most and scorers like Maykel Galindo never stepped up at the right moments.

After the rough patches in June and July, Chivas saw themselves passed up by a few clubs in the standings and things got a little dicey for their playoff hopes. But some key wins in August and September faded those worries away and this club looked like one that could contend for the Supporter’s Shield again after guys like Galindo, Kljestan and Eduardo Lillingston starting to step up again.

By the playoffs Chivas was once again bounced in the first round, just like they’ve been done in the past couple of seasons. What hurt this time was it was to their Home Depot Center rivals the LA Galaxy.

What Went Right In 2009:
For the most part a lot of things did go well in 2009 for Preki’s side. He looked like a Coach of the Year candidate early on with the way Zach Thornton turned back the clock and became a rived player again in goal. Thornton’s season was stellar too as he won both the Comeback Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year honors this season. Other things that went well was certainly that quick start to the year. Grabbing 24 points in the first couple months really set the pace for the season. We also learned of some new names that we will certainly see for years to come like Gerson Mayen.

What Went Wrong In 2009:
Obviously the summer months caught up to this club. Offensively they were one of the worst in the league even though mid-season moves to get Jesus Padilla in didn’t pan out quick enough. Padilla will be good in a year or so but he wasn’t enough to revive an offense that didn’t have enough punch. Also the whole year was a large disappointment for Kljestan who never looked good after his pre-season trail with Celtic. After not getting a transfer to the Scottish power, Kljestan really fell from grace.

What’s Next:
More than likely we will see Preki leave this team in the coming weeks. I have a feeling now more than ever he will join Bob Bradley with the national team rather than go to another MLS club. Should he actually stay in MLS he will probably do to Toronto. After that will be the likely departure of Jonathan Bornstein and possibly Kljestan. If they lose both of them look for this club to endure a serious make-over in the winter months. This group has talent they just need some offense and a couple younger parts on defense to really become a MLS Cup contender in this league.