1. How do you think the recent front office changes will help Chivas going forward? Is Real improvement that the team was hoping for after firing Chelis?
Away from the management/business side, things have improved remarkably since replacing Chelis with Jose Luis Real. The team has strung together a series of quality games and I am hopeful their first match in Houston in over two years is competitive.
Does replacing President Jose David with Arturo Glavez change anything? Well it does provide Chivas with a fall guy who can take the blame for the misdeeds of the past year. Really though Chivas , like MLS, has no transparency and therefore no accountability.
Meanwhile, the skepticism Chivas USA fans one had have given way to flat-out indifference. 5,123 was the reported attendance at the Chivas game last week, and it looked like a gross exaggeration.
2. How has bringing Carlos Bocanegra in changed the backline? The team?
Boca’s adjusting to the league now but he’s a bit hobbled by a series of foot injuries. But man, when he’s on the field, Alicia, everyone finds an extra gear. He’s the rising tide that lifts the other boats.
To put that in numbers, Chivas USA has a plus-minus of -1 with Bocanegra, -20 without him.
3. Chivas is ninth in the West: out of the playoffs and out of the SS race. What can the fans hope for for the rest of the season?
I recognize that this will sound harsh but with a reported attendance only slightly north of 5,000 fans at Saturday’s match against the Portland Timbers, it might be fair to say that what Chivas fans are looking forward to might not be Chivas USA soccer.
Which is sad, but this is self-inflicted wound. They still managed to get 12,000 people in the stadium in the dying days last year. This is the best Chivas USA team I’ve seen since 2010 but I just don’t know if those fans are coming back.
Chivas USA is a unique institution in that it is, until proven otherwise, a farm team for the Chivas Guadalajara, both of which are owned by Jorge Vergara. Through the course of the year, Chivas USA has had eight players on loan from Guadalajara, seven of which are with the team now. There was also talk that Eric Avila, whose played well for Chivas was down to Guadalajara.
That doesn’t sound like a positive but think about minor league baseball and you might be seeing a player who will develop into a future everyday player or even an All-star.
Striker Erick Torres is that kind of player. He’s electric and he’s amassed seven goals in his short tenure. In all honesty he was unlucky not to have added to his tally last week as a the ref blew an obvious penalty call last week when Torres got a Donovan Rickett’s cleat to his hip to prevent a clear goal scoring opportunity in the 69th minute.
Torres, being on loan from the mothership and will likely no longer be in MLS next year.
Beyond that the Chivas USA academy teams are performing well even winning a state earlier this month. We better hope the academy can churn out some good players seeing as we have only two draft picks in the next two years (a second round draft pick next year and a first round pick in 2015)!
Here’s my prediction, sure to be wrong: 4-4-1-1:
Purdy, Burling, Bocanegra, de Luna,
de la Fuente, Minda, Meija, Avila,
Be sure and check out my answers to Matt over on The Goat Parade.