Chivas USA vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Chivas USA is coming off back-to-back 1-0 losses. A loss at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday left the Goats with 10 points through seven games. Meanwhile, at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Goonies were in full effect late Sunday night. The Quakes managed to salvage a point at home with Adam Jahn’s equalizer in stoppage time.
Calm down. Take a breather. Revert to the first slide.
Based on the criteria, Chivas should be considered the favorite in Saturday’s showdown. The Goats enter Week 9 with a higher points-per-game average than San Jose (1.43 to 1.13). That is good enough to see Chivas in fourth place in the Western Conference, two spots ahead of the Quakes.
But San Jose has the talent to rectify that.
The Quakes will still be without the services of Alan Gordon. The apologetic forward will serve the second game of his three-game suspension. Fortunately for San Jose, the team's quality extends beyond a single “bash brother.” The talents of Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart are well documented. The returning contributions of Steven Beitashour and Marvin Chavez are not.
The two made their season debut in last week’s draw and will hope to duplicate last year’s success moving forward. Beitashour will provide the service. Chavez will provide the speed and pace on the outside. It was enough to earn the Quakes their second Supporters’ Shield in franchise history. It will be enough to earn a win on Saturday.
Much of San Jose’s recent woes (winless since Week 4) have been attributed to a lack of health, a lack of familiarity and a lack of cohesion. Todd McLellan has played a different starting XI the last four weeks. But the Quakes are as close to full strength as they’ve been all season.
That will prove to be problematic for Chivas on Saturday.
The Player to Watch on the Opposition
Chivas continue to rely on a physical style of play to frustrate opponents. The team is among the league leaders with 18 yellow cards this season. The Goats have met their match with Lenhart. The 26-year-old midfielder’s physical style of play is a well-known commodity around the league. There will be no “frustrating” this week. In fact, Chivas will likely receive a dose of its own medicine.
Like last week’s matchup between the Sounders and Colorado Rapids, this would not be considered an upset by some. And just like the Sounders, that speaks to San Jose’s quality.
Chivas is on the highest upset alert possible. Order will be restored in Carson, Calif..
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