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Game 3: Chivas USA @ Crew Pregame

April 12, 2008

The Crew, coming off a loss in New York last week, hope to rebound at home against one of the preseason MLS Cup favorites, Chivas USA. This game bears a little resemblance to last weeks game. Chivas USA comes into the game with some key injuries; the Crew will need to gain the advantage when they can. With Ante Razov, Alecko Eskandarian, Raphael Wicky, Lawson Vaughn out, Additionally, Maykel Galindo has a groin strain and is a game time decision. Chivas is still a strong team with Sasha Kljestan serving as the key offensive threat in the midfield. The defense is also strong; spearheaded by ‘keeper Brad Guzan. It would be a very good win for the Crew if they can get past Chivas USA.

Crew on Offense:

The Crew will have to play better out of the back than last week. Hesmer consistently bypassed the midfield last week. The probably insertion of left back Gino Padula may help build the attack with his reputed passing skills. Carroll and Moffat will have to link with the attack better than last week as well. The long ball game the Crew played last week was a failure. Gaven and Rogers will need to shoulder more of the load as Schelotto will be the focus of the Chivas defense. NYRB was able to take Schelotto out of his game and others could not step up enough; the Crew offense sputtered for 90 minutes as a result. The Chivas defense has U.S. internationals Jonathan Bornstein and Brad Guzan, Shavar Thomas, Claudio Suarez, and some recent additions in Jim Curtin and Chris Pozniak. While not as solid as previous years defense, Chivas still has considerable talent. Moreno and the rest of the offense will have to convert any chances they get.

Crew on Defense:

The Crew catch a break as most of the Chivas offense is out injured. Atiba Harris will lead the Chivas attackers. Marshall and O’Rourke will need to guard against the speed he and Galindo have. Hejduk and Padula will have to keep tabs on the dangerous wingers from Chivas. Mendoza and Kljestan both have the ability to create from the wings. Moffat and Carroll will have to play a more complete game; stifling the midfield play of Chivas and cutting off the passing lanes and denying service to the forwards. The defense catches a break by not having to face Razov and possibly Galindo, but this team has enough firepower to cause the Crew some problems.

Final Thoughts:

Much like last week, the Crew need to take advantage of teams when they are down. Chivas has been decimated by injuries and are a little light on attacking power. It is still early in the season, but they need to get points when the opportunity presents. The team still seems to be trying to get all of the pieces to work together. Carroll has had trouble getting involved at times, the offense is still working individually more than a unit. The team cannot afford to take a couple of months to get things worked out. Picking up a win against Chivas would give the Crew two straight home wins and go a long way to making Crew Stadium a difficult place to play again. I see them falling short of a win. Chivas still has some talent; our talent doesn’t seem to work together yet. If the offense starts to click, the Crew can easily take the three points.

Crew 1 – Chivas USA 1

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