Looking at 2010: Chivas USA

Looking at 2010: Chivas USA

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 1, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • Ante Razov, Blair Gavin, Carey Talley, Cesar Zamora, Dan Kennedy, Gerson Mayen, Jesse Marsch, Jesus Padillia, Jon Conway, Jonathan Borenstein, Jorge Flores, Macion Santos, Martin Vasquez, Maykel Galindo, Michael Lahoud, Sacha Kljestan, Yamith Cuesta, Zach Thornton

Sacha Kljestan is one of the key players for Chivas who needs to step up in 2010. (Getty Images

Its a new week and a new month. Last week we started a new series that looks at the current state of each Major League Soccer club. First we took a gander at the expansion club in Philadelphia and then we began a look at the rest of the league starting with the Chicago Fire.

Today we shift west to look at Chivas USA.

The offseason has been an interesting one in Chivasland. From a new coach in MartinVasquez to a decent SuperDraft. The AmeriGoats are hoping they can find a way to put together a club that finally gets out of the first round of the playoffs and possibly into the MLS Cup.

Keeper:

Who they have: Zach Thornton, Dan Kennedy, Jon Conway, and Lance Parker

Notes: A lot depends on the health of Thornton. He’s he is as fit as he was the majority of last year the AmeriGoats have absolutely nothing to worry about here but his age is a bit of a concern. I do like Kennedy but honestly I haven’t seen nearly enough out of him in goal to tell you if he is a legitimate starter in this league. I won’t even go into what I think of Conway, never been a big believe in him as a number one starter. I doubt this is an area of concern for Vasquez though and right now it really shouldn’t be.

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Defense

Who they have: Jonathan Borenstein, Yamith Cuesta, Carey Talley, Claudio Suarez, Ante Jazic, and Kevin Tangney.

Notes: I like parts of this defense and the rest needs a massive and I mean a massive upgrade. Suarez and Talley are old and likely on their way out (I want to say I’ve read somewhere that Suarez is definitely retiring here but couldn’t find it…maybe he’s playing again this year?)

If Vasquez even wants to compete in the highly competitive western conference he will have to improve this area of his team. Looking at clubs like Houston, Seattle, LA and even Dallas and RSL there are too many good clubs with talent in the back. Chivas has a couple good players like Bornstein but we know he’ll be gone most of this season with the national team. Improvement has to be made to get younger and better.

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Midfield

Who they have: Mariano Trujilo, Marcelo Saragosa, Jesse Marsch, Sacha Kljestan, Sasha Victorine, Jorge Flores, Gerson Mayen, Michael Lahoud, Cesar Zamora, Blair Gavin, and Osael Romero.

Notes: Not sure if Marsch really will be with this group this season or not but I think this group is still pretty underrated. I do see Kljestan having a better season than last year, he’s too talented not to bounce back this year. With young guys like Gavin, Lahoud, Flores and Mayen I see a lot of promise from this bunch.

One thing I do still worry about is who will create the offense for this bunch. A playmaker is still really needed here and I’m sure that has to be on the top of Vasquez’s to-do list here this winter. He’s been around that club long enough to know that they need some sort of stability in the midfield or else they’ll get passed up easily out west.

I am eager to see the development of those young guys under Vasquez. With someone like Christian Gomez likely on the market who he be worth a look at? Maybe if he comes in with his head on right for a change. I wouldn’t mind seeing this club look south to Mexico for a playmaker.

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Forwards

Who they have: Ante Razov, Jesus Padillia, Maykel Galindo, Justin Braun, Macion Santos, Chukwudi Chijindu, and Eduardo Lillingston (currently on loan to Tijuana).

Notes: A pretty interesting bunch. On paper they should be set in this department but a closer look makes to think otherwise. First of all Razov will likely be gone at some point. I just wonder if they can ever get him back to his level of play and get a Jeff Cunningham type of renaissance out of him.

I like Padilla, Galindo and Santos but I don’t particularly love them all. If Padilla can step up and be the scorer that we think he should be and Galindo stays healthy long enough then they will be fine.

I think one more addition here may help them out.

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Overall:

Chivas got out to such a hot start last year with very minimal talent doing so. They were gritty and found ways to win that most clubs couldn’t figure out. By the summer it fizzled out and the scoring dried up. Luckily enough guys like Santos came in and they were set straight enough to reach the post season.

For another good season this club still needs a lot of patching up in the back and in the midfield. They’re young enough to be dangerous yet old enough at the same time to get passed up by clubs below them.

It will be interesting to see what Vasquez and company do with these next couple months to prove people like me wrong. Right now I just wonder if they have what it takes to be a playoff club again. If the right parties step up (Kljestan, Padilla, etc.) then playoffs should be no issue but its getting those guys to step up that seems to be a challenge sometimes.

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