Season previews are going to come out as quickly as I can write them. Again, I am taking the alphabetical track on these too. So next up…
2012 MLS Record: 7-18-9 (9th in Western Conference), 30 points
M Carlos Alvarez (1/17/13 – SuperDraft)
M Eric Avila (1/22/13 – trade from Colorado[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]OUT:
F Juan Pablo Ángel (12/3/12 – out of contract)
M Peter Vagenas (12/3/12 – out of contract)
D Danny Califf (12/3/12 – option declined)
F Alejandro Moreno (12/3/12 – option declined)
M Nick LaBrocca (1/22/13 – trade to Colorado)
F Casey Townsend (1/25/14 – trade to D.C. United)[/twocol_one_last]
Key Questions for 2013
Historically, Chelis seems content to shuffle between tactics like Pearl Jam goes through drummers. At Estudiantes Tecos, Chelis used five different formations. Very seldom did he use the same formation in consecutive games and he never used the same lineup when facing a team for a second time. – Matthew Hoffman, The Goat Parade (Chivas USA Blog) 1. Does Chelis have a true direction for this club? Two additions to this roster while a slew of players have left (or are trying to leave). What is impressive to me is the fact that Chivas USA has yet to really make a big splash this offseason in getting players to come to the team. I know they have a bunch of trialists in camp at the moment, and most fit their desire and move to a Mexican-American squad. Rodrigo Lopez, Josue Soto, Daniel Antunez, and Giovanni Casillas are all in camp still. Those four are midfielders with the forwards in camp being Julio Morales, Leopoldo Cruz, and Narciso Cuevas. Most should make the roster if things go Chivas’ way here.
2. Replacing Juan Agudelo. This isn’t really a question but it will be something that Chivas USA will have to deal with at some point this year. I’d imagine by the summer window someone overseas will line up a good enough offer to snag Agudelo away from Chivas and MLS. It really is only a matter of time. So how does Chivas replace him? They do have those three forwards in camp and I’m sure one of them will be decent in this league. The thing is after Agudelo, the Goats have very little to offer offensively at this point. In a way, they need to sell Agudelo this summer because he’ll be free to leave after this season. They need the allocation that will be apart of any transfer deal.
3. Has the defense improved? Their back four wasn’t that good in 2012 and now they are even thinner for 2013. They do have a slew of guys in camp that have not signed yet with the team but none of them excite me just yet here. The only name that does intrigue me is left back Juan Pablo Ocegueda. The U.S. U-20 youth and Southern California native recently signed with Chivas Guadalajara while also turning down an invitation to the Mexican U-20 squad in order to play for the U.S. team that will attempt to qualify for the U-20 World Cup. Some outlets are reporting that he will join the USA Goats for a season long loan after the WC qualifying ends. While I think he has a ways to go to actually make an impact, he is certainly a guy to keep an eye on.
Breakout Player for 2013
Eric Avila – I’ve seen what Avila has to offer thanks to his time here in Dallas. He has the talent and now that he is back home in Southern California, I think he will flourish with Chivas. He may not be a 10 goal scorer here for them but he’ll add some intangibles in the locker room that this club needs.
Predictions for 2013
- Chelis will make every game interesting. While I don’t think Chivas will be all that good this season, I do see them being competitive in nearly every game this year.
- Chivas will be aggressive in the summer transfer window. Either it will be through trades in MLS or snagging more Mexican talent, I think Chivas will add a DP this summer. Again, they will be interesting.
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