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  • April 9, 2011
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Head to Head Preview: Chivas USA - Columbus Crew

Head to Head Preview: Chivas USA - Columbus Crew

Victor Decolongon

Columbus travels to the Home Depot Center looking to build on its first win of the season. Chivas USA, meanwhile, still pursues its first win in 2011.

On Form
Chivas USA: Chivas USA got their first point last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Toronto. Jaime Moreno found the net in the second minute, a lead they would later surrender in the same half. The draw gives the squad something to build. They applied good pressure from the very beginning, expect more of the same.
Columbus Crew: While the Crew's attack still hasn't gotten everything figured out, the defense has been solid. Other than a couple of slip ups, figuratively and literally speaking, the back four have been tough to score on. They have posted back to back clean sheets against two dangerous attacking teams in New York and FC Dallas. The best news is that star center half Chad Marshall appears to have no ill effects from a preseason concussion. With the attack looking a few weeks away from reaching full potential, the Black and Gold will rely on their back line to keep them in games.
Off Target
Chivas: Chivas still haven’t won a game and are still decimated my injury. They still expect to be without Simon Elliot, Paulo Nagamura, and Captain Jimmy Conrad, although Elliot and Nagamura returned to practice this week.
Columbus: Andres Mendoza was made a DP in the off season, and the Peruvian has not lived up to that moniker. He has almost been invisible for the most part so far this season, and he has done little to help the struggling offense. However, this could be impacted by a number of factors, and even though he has not shown the hustle and bustle of past Crew front men, he is scoring at just around his career average with Columbus. Unfortunately, average is not good enough for a player making a much as he is, whatever that number happens to be.
Tactics
Chivas: Coach Robin Fraser turned to a 3-4-3 last weekend to try and apply some extra pressure to the Toronto backline. It paid dividends early with the Moreno goal. Expect to see Moreno, Bowen, and Braun up top again to try and disrupt Columbus’ backline.
Columbus: Against a FC Dallas side that loves to play attractive football, the home team could say with confidence that they were able to control the midfield ares for long stretches of the match. With in essence 5 midfielders, they were able to crowd Dallas and win the ball all game. With Andres Mendoza out, it will be interesting to see how Robert Warzycha sends his boys out. Will he keep the team in his preferred 4-1-3-1-1, or in a more standard 4-1-3-2?
Intangibles
Chivas: Chivas USA is a team with nothing to lose. Nothing has gone right for them so far this season so, expect them to sell out on every play to get that illusive first win.
Columbus: The Crew have a dreadful record in the Home Depot Center, losing both games there in 2010 by 3 goals to 1. In fact, against Chivas, the Crew are winless in their last 5.
Prediction
Chivas: Columbus is too good of a team to let this game slip away. They win this one 3-1.
Columbus: The Crew have improved marginally in all three games, and the improvement continues against a Chivas side still trying to find a identity. 2-1 to the Crew, with goals from Cunningham and Gaven, and a late goal for Braunaldinho to keep the road side on edge. as he is, whatever that number happens to be.
On Form

Chivas USA: Chivas USA got their first point last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Toronto. Jaime Moreno found the net in the second minute, a lead they would later surrender in the same half. The draw gives the squad something to build. They applied good pressure from the very beginning, expect more of the same.

Columbus Crew: While the Crew's attack still hasn't gotten everything figured out, the defense has been solid. Other than a couple of slip ups, figuratively and literally speaking, the back four have been tough to score on. They have posted back to back clean sheets against two dangerous attacking teams in New York and FC Dallas. The best news is that star center half Chad Marshall appears to have no ill effects from a preseason concussion. With the attack looking a few weeks away from reaching full potential, the Black and Gold will rely on their back line to keep them in games.

Off Target

Chivas: Chivas still haven’t won a game and are still decimated my injury. They still expect to be without Simon Elliot, Paulo Nagamura, and Captain Jimmy Conrad, although Elliot and Nagamura returned to practice this week.

Columbus: Andres Mendoza was made a DP in the off season, and the Peruvian has not lived up to that moniker. He has almost been invisible for the most part so far this season, and he has done little to help the struggling offense. However, this could be impacted by a number of factors, and even though he has not shown the hustle and bustle of past Crew front men, he is scoring at just around his career average with Columbus. Unfortunately, average is not good enough for a player making a much as he is, whatever that number happens to be.

Tactics
Chivas: Coach Robin Fraser turned to a 3-4-3 last weekend to try and apply some extra pressure to the Toronto backline. It paid dividends early with the Moreno goal. Expect to see Moreno, Bowen, and Braun up top again to try and disrupt Columbus’ backline.

Columbus: Against a FC Dallas side that loves to play attractive football, the home team could say with confidence that they were able to control the midfield ares for long stretches of the match. With in essence 5 midfielders, they were able to crowd Dallas and win the ball all game. With Andres Mendoza out, it will be interesting to see how Robert Warzycha sends his boys out. Will he keep the team in his preferred 4-1-3-1-1, or in a more standard 4-1-3-2?

Intangibles
Chivas: Chivas USA is a team with nothing to lose. Nothing has gone right for them so far this season so, expect them to sell out on every play to get that illusive first win.

Columbus: The Crew have a dreadful record in the Home Depot Center, losing both games there in 2010 by 3 goals to 1. In fact, against Chivas, the Crew are winless in their last 5.

Prediction

Chivas: Columbus is too good of a team to let this game slip away. They win this one 3-1.

Columbus: The Crew have improved marginally in all three games, and the improvement continues against a Chivas side still trying to find a identity. 2-1 to the Crew, with goals from Cunningham and Gaven, and a late goal for Braunaldinho to keep the road side on edge. as he is, whatever that number happens to be.
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Last Five Matches
Odds
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Available Squads
1Dan KennedyGoalkeeper
19Jorge VillafanaDefender
6Ante JazicDefender
-Zarek ValentinDefender
44Heath PearceDefender
14Ben ZemanskiMidfielder
2Nick LaBroccaMidfielder
13Michael LahoudMidfielder
15Alejandro MorenoStriker
17Justin BraunStriker
-Marcos MondainiStriker
-Zach ThorntonGoalkeeper
27Andrew BoyensDefender
-M. UmañaDefender
-J. Francisco MendozaMidfielder
8M. TrujilloDefender
-G. MayénMidfielder
27V. EstupiñanStriker
1Will HesmerGoalkeeper
25Richard BalchanDefender
14Chad MarshallDefender
-Sebastián MirandaDefender
-Julius JamesDefender
14Robbie RogersMidfielder
-Dejan RusmirMidfielder
12Eddie GavenMidfielder
15Kevin BurnsGoalkeeper
17Emmanuel EkpoMidfielder
20E. RenteríaStriker
30Andy GruenebaumGoalkeeper
6Andy IroDefender
-Dilly DukaMidfielder
-Josh GardnerMidfielder
9Justin MeramMidfielder
-Tom HeinemannStriker
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