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Played
April 23, 2011 4:05 PM EDT
Buck Shaw Stadium — Santa Clara, California
Referee:‬ J. Marrufo‎
Attendance:‬ 10525‎
 

Head to Head preview: San Jose Earthquakes - Chivas USA

The Western Conference clash is on between the California squads.

By Nick Rosano and Andrea Canales

Simon Dawkins, Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes; MLS
Thearon W. Henderson
On Form

San Jose Earthquakes: Frankly, it's difficult to say. The team was thoroughly outplayed by New York and had a player like Thierry Henry been on the top of his game, he could have scored two or three, as opposed to just one. Jon Busch did well to keep the scoreline down, including a fantastic save on a long range effort from Henry. While Bobby Convey and Ike Opara, showed flashes, if not sustained periods of good play.

Chivas USA: The defense of the club has been stout of late, and Chivas USA is clearly a team that is difficult to score on. That's something to build on.


Off Target

San Jose: The defense, and full backs in particular looked extremely shaky, especially during New York's opening salvo in the first 15 minutes. Khari Stephenson struggled when moved out wide, as did Ryan Johnson and the midfield struggled to hold possession for most parts of the game.

Chivas USA: The attack of the squad is moribund. Chivas USA's forward have yet to score this season. The club has yet to win. It's likely the two elements are linked.

Tactics


San Jose: Despite initially having the makings of a promising setup, it seems like Frank Yallop has struggled in recent weeks to find a system that works just right. As evidenced by the struggles of Khari Stephson out wide and Ryan Johnson as both a left winger and a target man, Yallop clearly has some work to do in getting his offense clicking. The possible return of Stephen Lenhart to the lineup could provide Yallop with a different option up top, while Bobby Convey and Chris Wondolowski could once again find themselves on the flanks. Defensively, Yallop is blessed with an overabundance of center-backs, but his full back options seem to be less effective with each passing game, so how he sorts that out will have a major impact on the Earthquakes' upcoming results.

Chivas USA: Coach Robin Fraser has definitely put in some key pieces for the future, and it's true that a defensive foundation is crucial to any club's success. However, the team recently chose to pass on the opportunity to sign talented midfielder Benny Feilhaber. Either Fraser has big plans in place to bring in a player as good as Feilhaber or better, or his hands are tied by an ownership group which refuses to invest in the organization.  It's not the Justin Braun is a bad forward, but he can't be expected to carry the load all on his own.


Chivas USA still looking for their first win this season


Intangibles


San Jose: The Earthquakes have collected just two out of a possible nine points at home so far. A team like Chivas USA is one San Jose should be able to beat at home, but they will have to remain composed and not let their prior struggles at home become a mental stumbling block.

Chivas USA: San Jose has been a bit snakebit at home this season, and Chivas USA usually claim some extra fan support on the road, given their association with Guadalajara. An impatient crowd could put pressure on the home players and give a boost to the visitors.

Prediction


Nick Rosano: San Jose is long overdue for a home win, or just a win at that, and they should be able to get it. San Jose 2-0 Chivas USA.

Andrea Canales: Chivas USA is still in their rebuilding process. They won't be easy to score on, but San Jose will finally break through. 1-0

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
18Jon BuschGoalkeeper
21Jason HernandezDefender
33Chris LeitchDefender
14Brandon McDonaldDefender
-Ramiro CorralesDefender
4Sam CroninMidfielder
9Khari StephensonMidfielder
19Scott SealyStriker
-Simon DawkinsStriker
15Bobby ConveyMidfielder
8Chris WondolowskiStriker
33Andrew WeberGoalkeeper
3Ike OparaDefender
2Bobby BurlingDefender
5Brad RingMidfielder
18Anthony AmpaipitakwongMidfielder
16Steven LenhartStriker
-Ryan JohnsonDefender
1Dan KennedyGoalkeeper
19Jorge VillafanaDefender
27Andrew BoyensDefender
-Zarek ValentinDefender
44Heath PearceDefender
6Ante JazicDefender
2Nick LaBroccaMidfielder
7Simon ElliottMidfielder
14Ben ZemanskiMidfielder
-Marcos MondainiStriker
15Alejandro MorenoStriker
-Zach ThorntonGoalkeeper
-M. UmañaDefender
-J. Francisco MendozaMidfielder
8M. TrujilloDefender
19G. MayénMidfielder
17Justin BraunStriker
27V. EstupiñanStriker
Results
 
Top Scorers
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E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
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6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
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Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
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4 2
Dominic Dwyer Dominic Dwyer
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Sporting KC
4 1