Chivas USA will take a break from MLS action to participate in SuperLiga. Goal.com's Zac Lee Rigg previews the team.
Leading scorer: Eduardo Lillingston, 6 goals
2008 SuperLiga: Crashed out in the group stages with 4 points; Pachuca and New England advanced
Key additions: Eduardo Lillingston, Mariano Trujillo, Ante Jazic
Key losses: Rafael Wicky, Francisco Mendoza
Update: After roaring out of the gates to begin the 2009 Major League Soccer season, Chivas USA has hit a bit of a road bump. The Goats dropped only four points in the initial nine games, but have since won only one game. Moreover, after conceding a miserly four goals in the opening nine games, the defense has been lit up for nine goals in the six games following.
SuperLiga will either give the team a chance to reset itself and ease back into form or will continue to pile on the pressure on a strained squad. Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein are still with the U.S. national team in South Africa, leaving the left flank lacking in quality. However, Ante Jazic, Claudio Suarez, and Maykel Galindo continue their recoveries from various injuries to bolster the roster.
Last year, Chivas USA couldn't make it out of the group stages of the SuperLiga. A narrow 1-0 win over Santos put the team within a shot of advancing, but a scrappy 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on a pitch Revs 'keeper Matt Reis described as more similar to parking lot pavement than grass meant that the Revs and Mexican powerhouse Pachuca advanced.
Chivas USA has yet to prove itself in any knock-out competition, having yet to advance past the first round in the playoffs in its brief history, nor having fared any better in international competition. If the team wants to reverse that trend, it will have to overcome a poor string of recent results to get the needed points against group-mates Tigres UANL, San Luis, and the Chicago Fire, starting with Tigres on Saturday.
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
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