Scouting report: What does Chivas USA bring in Saturday night's "Cali" finale for Union?
After a long, laborious week away from the confines of PPL Park, the Union will look to secure three points before a long flight back to Philadelphia on Sunday. To do so, it’ll have to bypass Chivas USA, who come off a midweek loss to Portland at home and are looking to right its ship.
Though it’s been a rough year for the Goats (2-6-4, 10 points) this is a team with solid options on attack, namely former Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales. However, the Goats haven’t won at home since March 9 and much like the Union are desperate for a spark from somewhere.
Here’s a look at some of the potentials that could play providers.
Chivas USA offense
You’d think based on their record that the 4-3-3 formation isn’t one that does Chivas any favors, but it’s paying dividends for target forward Erick Torres. Torres leads the squad with eight goals on 32 shots (12 on target). He’s production and definitely a player the Union will look to tie down. Rosales is up next in the dangerous category. He has four assists on the year, but if you remember from watching this guy while in Seattle, he’s clutch in tight spaces has the vision and is an extremely physical presence. He also plays well off fellow midfielder Marky Delgado and Martin Rivero, the latter who’s primarily role of distributing to the flanks, who then whip in crosses to runners crashing the box. Rivero is a true CM who does the work and rarely strays from the center of the pitch. Round that group out with Augustin Pelletieri and Leandro Barrera. On the left side, Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera also has the option of using Oswaldo Minda, who has appeared in seven matches this season and could return after serving a suspension.
Graphic: A look at a potential Chivas USA lineup and formation ahead of Saturday's match (10:30 p.m., CSN).
Chivas USA defense
Bolstered by former U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra and Chivas mainstay in goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, this is a Goats defense that has quality names…and holes in its defensive third. Kennedy enters the match with a 1.66 goals against average with 18 goals allowed and still seeking his first shutout of the season. This Chivas collective will give up passing lanes and are soft on restarts as well. However, keep your eye out for Eric Avila, who has played every minute for the Goats this season and who is quick to push up as an extra man on the attack or on the overlap to put a ball into the mix. Chivas will be without center back Bobby Burling who was ejected in the Portland match.
The Union is known for attacking in waves and in this match it’ll have to do so with major intent to finish off chances in the box. This Chivas defense is unable to keep a clean sheet for 90 minutes which means there are breakdowns through the match. Should the Union find and exploit them, that quest of returning home with points in hand could become a reality.
What do you think of this Chivas USA group? Leave a comment below.
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com