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2009 MLS Season Preview: Chivas USA

The Recent Results: I have to hand it to the Goats. Despite dealing with injuries galore last year they managed to finish 2nd in the West. But, that really wasn’t too much of a feat with the scrubs in that conference in 2008. In fact, Chivas was ninth in the league in offense and seventh in defense overall. Not great stats for a team that ended up #2 in their conference.

The Man in Charge: Preki deserves a lot of the credit for making Chivas into a contender. Sure, he couldn’t get them past the first round of the Cup playoffs last year, but it was a miracle he even got them that far in my opinion. I think he is one of the best three coaches in the league, and I imagine he will keep shepherding his Goats well.

On the Offensive: So long as Chivas holds on to Special K, Sacha Kljestan, they will be one of the best teams in the West. If he leaves, their offense is screwed. Ante Razov and Jesse Marsh are pretty ancient. Victorine (i.e. the other Sasha) is also getting up there in years. Preki needs his Special K to be competitive and part of his complete breakfast.

For the Defense: I like the Goats defense, despite their poor 2008 run. Bornstein can flat out run and Jim Curtain is a well-aged vet. Talley, Thomas, Vaughn and Burling also can play some decent soccer. So long as they get some support from their goalie (probably Thornton), the Goats will again be among the best in the West.

Movie They Resemble: The Goats are reminiscent of the recent classic There Will Be Blood. They didn’t just have the most fouls last year, they won the (Un)Fair Play Award by a landslide. They make their opponents bleed, and they seem to enjoy inflicting their cruelty on others. So, I think they resemble Daniel Plainview, and I think they will be MLS tycoons in 2009. Well, so long as they have their Special K, of course.