I had every intention of starting the Wester Conference preseason look ins yesterday but things got away from me with the MLS-USL announcement.
Again, I am going through each of the 19 MLS clubs, two at a time, to look at what items are missing as each team is beginning their preseason camps this week.
So far I’ve done the entire Eastern Conference: the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew, D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo, the Montreal Impact and the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union, and Sporting KC and Toronto FC.
Today we’ll kick off the Western nine with Chivas and Colorado.
- How long will the make-over take? We know they want to be more of a Mexican-American team than just an American team run by Mexicans. What ever it may really be, Chivas is making an effort to be more true to their core values with their new head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Solá. Nick LaBrocca is already gone and now Dan Kennedy and Shalrie Joseph appear to be next. But who is lining up to snag these two veterans?
- Lack of leadership. One thing about a club makeover is that it usually drives out veteran players. For Chivas this team is going to look different on day one in 2013 but who will step up and guide this team? They may have dumped a ton of salary for this year but so far you have to wonder what it will really bring.
- Forward thinking. One thing that the Goats struggled in a big way in 2012 was in the scoring department. Looking at their roster right now, the gaps up front are massive and could be even bigger should Juan Agudelo bolt for Europe.
- 4-3-3 ready? We know this is the way Oscar Pareja wanted to go in year one but injuries and personnel kept him from doing what he truly wanted to do in Denver. He has the offensive parts to potentially switch with rookie Deshorn Brown, newcomers Edson Buddle and the return of Nick LaBrocca. But is that midfield set enough to handle this move? All depends on the health of one man.
- Who’s in line to back up Pablo Mastroeni? This may be a bigger ticket item than anything else for the Rapids. Mastroeni is said to be coming back but without Jeff Larentowicz in a Rapids uniform in 2013 (he got traded to Chicago), I question whether or not the Rapids have a solid backup in place. Nathan Sturgis, maybe. Dillon Powers, he could be but I doubt it right away.