Chivas USA: After Saturday's match, Chivas USA players will pack their clothes in their lockers, drive home, lie down in their beds, and not have to worry about getting their hides handed to them for nearly four months. That's great news for a gaggle of players which has lost 17 times this year and props up the Western Conference. The best bit of news to hit the club in some time is that the misery will only last 90 more minutes (please don't give injury time, ref!).
Chicago Fire: While he will likely be on the bench this weekend because of the return of Sean Johnson to the starting lineup, Andrew Dykstra was the brightest star for the Fire in this past weekend’s 0-0 draw with D.C. United. With all that has gone wrong for Chicago this year, one relatively bright spot has been the goalkeeper position. Dykstra looked awkward in goal at the beginning of the season and lost his job to Johnson, but the rookie made several key saves in the games he has filled in for the injured Johnson.
Chivas USA: Martin Vasquez could probably write a novella on what's wrong with this club. Then again, he just might be part of the problem too. After the midweek loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, Vasquez admitted that he would need to sit down with management after the season ends to discuss his future. He didn't sound optimistic.
Chicago: Every week I switch between criticizing the defense and the offense. When Chicago scores goals it seems as though their defense vanishes, and when they defend well, there is no offense. The real problem has been decision-making in the final third. Even with the arrival of Freddie Ljungberg this did not really improve. The offense was poor once again against United and needs a strong performance to send off Brian McBride with a victory.
Chivas USA: The backline will need a reshuffle after both centerback starters against San Jose - Yamith Cuesta and Michal Umana - went down injured. They join Dario Delgado in the physio's room. Jonathan Bornstein may play his last game in a Chivas USA jersey at centerback.
Chicago: Chicago will attack once again from the wings. Although he often struggles with his decision making, Patrick Nyarko will likely be a target on the wing and be counted on to aid the attack with Ljungberg. It will also be interesting to see if Brian McBride starts or not in his last professional game or if Carlos de los Cobos will decide to bring him off the bench instead.
Chivas USA: This is captain Bornstein's last match in the Home Depot Center, as the U.S. international will join Tigres in January. Neither club has anything left to play for except pride and a fond farewell to departing players.
Chicago: This is really a game of goodbyes for Chicago and, to some extent, for Chivas USA. McBride and now CJ Brown will be playing their last professional games while Jonathan Bornstein will be headed to Mexico after this season. Will Chicago be able to give McBride and Brown a winning send off?
Chivas USA: A draw should leave everybody happy enough.
Chicago: Last week I predicted a 2-0 win for Chicago - that apparently was wishful thinking. This week I will be more of a realist and go with a 1-1 draw.
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