New York Red Bulls
Forward Erick “Cubo” Torres converts via penalty kick to give Chivas USA the 1-0 lead over the New York Red Bulls after a foul on Thomas McNamara.
El delantero Erick “Cubo” Torres convierte un penalti para darle a Chivas USA la ventaja de un gol sobre los New York Red Bulls después de una falta a Thomas McNamara
Out of the two teams it is a little easier to guess the starters for Chivas USA than the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls have already mixed and matched different players into their lineup each week. Coach Mike Petke is still trying to figure out who his best 11 on the field are and what formation is going to better suit them. Both teams will probably line up in a 4-4-2 formation, with quality attacking options up front and out wide. Chivas USA attack has started out strong, while NYRB has not taken flight yet but with the quality they have, they will find their wings. Both teams’ defenses have given up 6 goals this year already, and are looking to tighten that up.
I expect Henry and Cahill to start up keeping the Chivas USA defense busy. These are two players who have made a living playing at the highest level in Europe, scoring goals and providing assists. The Chivas USA players need to be at the top of their game to stop two world class players. As with any formation within a team it can become flexible in any given game to help adjust to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent. Even though on paper it is a 4-4-2, look for either Henry or Cahill at times to drop into the midfield to find the ball and create a numerical advantage in the middle of the field. We saw Henry do this last week versus Chicago and although the Red Bulls dominated in possession, they created very few chances. It definitely can be a good thing to have a world class striker far away from your goal but he can also become provider for his teammates if Chivas USA aren’t careful. As a coach, I believe players should recognize where the good spaces for them to occupy based on the other teams tactics. Henry and Cahill are players that will work off each other and have a good understanding of occupying and freeing up space for the other. Cahill has already played in the midfield this season and has done it before in Europe, so he is no stranger to dropping back and receiving the ball, but I think he will stay high and battle with the center back pairing of Chivas USA and allow Henry to float around him. Those two players should be keeping Bocanegra and Zavaleta, busy throughout the game. Between the two, Bocanegra brings a lot of experience playing against the very best in the world; the test will be for on-loan converted to center back Zavaleta. He will have to adapt quick to his new position and rely on Bocanegra’s experience.
In the first 3 games of the season, the center back tandem for NYRB has not been the same. Usually a team has a solid center back pairing that know each other and work well together. I prefer to have some continuity and understanding within my backline. In my opinion it is crucial for NYRB center backs, whoever Petke decides to go with this time, to help cover each other. So far Coach Petke has had to make a change there for each game, either because of suspension or preference. The return of Spanish defender Armando from suspension should see him back in the lineup paired alongside Jamison Olave. The Chivas USA front line of Torres and Moore need to isolate the 2 center backs and play 2 vs. 2 and drive at them at all times.
Out on the flanks is where Chivas USA will have an advantage. New signing Barrera has featured in all 3 games with his ability to get by his player and serve a left footed cross has proven to be helpful to the Chivas USA attack. On the other side, also a new signing and one that has already paid dividends is Mauro Rosales, he leads the League in assists with 3 and was named to the MLS Team in Week 2. These 2 guys will be supplying the chances for Torres and Moore to finish. I believe that this is where Chivas USA needs to get the ball when in possession. This will force the Red Bulls to shift all the way over and help create more room for the two central mids to find the ball in good spaces.
In the midfield, it is going to come down to which team drops another player in the middle to help make a numerical advantage. The Red Bulls have dominated their opponents in terms of possession. However, they have only been averaging 9 shots per game and only scoring 1 goal per game. Without the reborn again Oswaldo Minda (still questionable due to last week’s injury), who in my opinion has been a force in midfield and a main reason Chivas USA has started so well, the other Chivas USA players will need to put pressure on McCarty and Alexander to limit the supply of balls to their attackers. Henry and Cahill don’t need that many chances to make you play for your mistake.
Both teams will rely heavily on their goalkeepers for this match up. Long time goalkeeper for Chivas USA, Dan Kennedy, has been very consistent throughout his time with the Red and White and offers some stability to the defense. Luis Robles for NYRB has saved his team from a tougher start. Against Vancouver he made a couple of saves that kept the score line only to 4. He is 3rd overall in MLS with 14 saves. Both keepers will need their gloves on for this one as past meetings have proven to be high scoring affairs.
De los dos equipos, es mas fácil adivinar la alineación titular para Chivas USA que los New York Red Bulls. Los Red Bulls ya han mezclado jugadores diferentes en su alineación en cada jornada. El Director Técnico Mike Petke aun está tratando de averiguar quiénes son sus mejores 11 jugadores en la cancha y cuál es la formación que mejor le sirve. Ambos equipos probablemente usaran la formación de 4-4-2, con opciones de ataque de calidad al frente y por las bandas. El ataque de Chivas USA ha arrancado fuerte, mientras que NYRB aun no ha encontrado su mejor forma pero con la calidad que tienen, la encontraran pronto. Las líneas defensivas de ambos equipos han regalado seis goles en esta temporada y buscaran mejorar en ese aspecto.
Espero que Henry y Cahill inicien y mantengan a la defensa de Chivas USA sumamente ocupada. Estos dos son jugadores que han podido construir una carrera profesional jugando en el máximo circuito de futbol en Europa, anotando goles y proveyendo asistencias. Los jugadores de Chivas USA necesitaran estar en su mejor nivel para parar a los dos jugadores de renombre mundial. Como cualquier formación en un equipo se puede volver flexible en cualquier partido para ayudar ajustar las fortalezas y las debilidades de su rival. Aunque en papel pueda ser un 4-4-2, se podrá ver a Henry o Cahill bajar al mediocampo de vez en cuando para encontrarse con el balón y crear una ventaja numérica en la media cancha. Pudimos ver a Henry hacer esto en la jornada pasada ante Chicago y aunque los Red Bulls dominaron en posesión, crearon muy pocas oportunidades al arco. Puede ser algo bueno el tener a un delantero de primer nivel alejado de tu arco, pero también puede ser un gran proveedor de balones para sus compañeros si es que Chivas USA no se cuida adecuadamente. Como entrenador, creo que los jugadores deben reconocer donde están los buenos espacio para que ellos los ocupen basándose en las tácticas de su rival. Henry y Cahill son jugadores que trabajan junto y tienen un buen entendimiento de ocupar y desalojar espacios para uno y el otro. Cahill ya ha jugado en la media cancha en esta temporada y lo ha hecho antes en Europa, así que ya sabe bajar y recuperar el balón, pero creo que se mantendrá arriba y luchara contra los defensas centrales de Chivas USA y permitir que Henry flote a su alrededor. Esos dos jugadores mantendrán a Bocanegra y Zavaleta sumamente ocupados durante todo el partido. Entre los dos, Bocanegra trae mucha experiencia tras jugar ante los mejores del mundo futbolístico; el reto será para el defensa central que está en condición a préstamo Zavaleta. El tendrá que adaptarse rápidamente a su nueva posición y apoyarse a la experiencia de Bocanegra.
En sus primeros tres encuentros de la temporada, el dueto de defensas centrales de NYRB no ha sido el mismo. Normalmente el equipo cuenta con centrales sólidos que se conocen y trabajan muy bien juntos. Yo prefiero tener continuidad y entendimiento en la línea defensiva. En mi opinión, es crucial para los centrales de NYRB, con quien decida alinear Petke en esta ocasión, que se ayuden entre los dos. Hasta ahora, Petke ha tenido que hacer cambios para cada juego, ya sea por suspensiones o por preferencia. El regreso del defensa español Aramando, después de una suspensión, podría traerlo de nuevo al once inicial junto con Jamison Olave. La delantera Rojiblanca con Torres y Moore, necesitarán separar a los dos centrales y jugar dos contra dos la mayoría de las veces.
En los costados es donde Chivas USA tendrá ventaja. El recién llegado Barrera, ha participado en los 3 encuentros con la habilidad de poder sobrepasar a su oponente y cruzar balones desde la banda izquierda, el cual ha probado ser de mucha ayuda al ataque rojiblanco. Por el otro lado, otro nuevo integrante que ya ha entregado dividendos es Mauro Rodales, que es líder en la Liga con 3 asistencias y fue nombrado dentro del Equipo de la Semana 2 de la MLS.. Estos dos jugadores estarán dando oportunidades a Torres y a Moore en el ataque. Esto obligará a Red Bulls a moverse y ayudar a mitad de campo a encontrar el balón.
En el medio campo, será donde cualquiera de los dos equipos que decida agregar un jugador más, tendrá la ventaja numérica. Red Bulls a dominado a sus oponentes en la posesión de balón. Sin embargo, han promediado 9 disparos a la portería por partido y solo 1 gol por encuentro. Sin la ayuda del rejuvenecido Oswaldo Minda (que sigue en duda por la lesión de la semana pasada), quien en mi opinión ha sido pilar en el medio campo y una de las principales razones de porque Chivas USA a iniciado tan bien esta temporada, los otros jugadores rojiblancos tendrán que presionar a McCarty y a Alexander para evitar la distribución de balones a sus atacantes. Henry y Cahill no necesitan muchas oportunidades para cobrarse de los errores y anotar.
Las dos escuadras dependerán mucho en sus guardametas para este encuentro. El arquero de Chivas USA, Dan Kennedy, ha sido un pilar en la defensiva rojiblanca por muchos años y ofrece estabilidad en el arco. Luis Robles, arquero de NYRB ha salvado a su equipo de un duro inicio de temporada. Frente a Vancouver, Robles dejó pasar varias oportunidades de gol y terminó el partido con cuatro anotaciones en su portería. Con 14 atajadas, Robles se encuentra en la posición numero 3 en toda la liga. Ambos porteros necesitarán estar muy atentos y listos para atajar, ya que esta serie a probado ser alta en anotaciones.
Just three days from Opening Match, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber will present his March to Soccer address and will be available to media via live stream on the MLS YouTube channel and Google+ Hangout on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 3 pm PT.
The commissioner's March to Soccer address will include the presentation of new league initiatives for 2013 and a Q&A with media members, according to a release from the league.
Watch Commissioner Garber’s address below starting at 3pm PT:
The first step moving towards Chivas USA’s 2013 season begins Monday afternoon as Major League Soccer will hold a Waiver Draft via conference call at 12:30 p.m. PT, with all clubs participating except for MLS Cup finalists Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy. Each club will announce the results of the Waiver Draft separately.
As of Monday morning, the Goats have not yet released a list of players eligible for the draft; a full list of league-wide eligible players will be listed on the club’s site before the draft. Players available to Monday’s draft are those whom (1) are not in a club’s plans for 2013, and (2) are NOT re-entry draft eligible (the latter to be held Thursday, December 6). Such players will be available to clubs in the Waiver Draft via the waiver draft order. As with all players that clear waivers, any players not selected in the Waiver Draft will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Nov. 19, 2012 MLS Waiver Draft Selection Order (2012 finishes in brackets):
1. Toronto (23 pts)
2. Chivas USA (30 pts)
3. Portland (34 pts)
4. New England (35 pts)
5. Philadelphia (36 pts)
6. Colorado (37 pts)
7. FC Dallas (39 pts)
8. Montreal (42 pts)
9. Columbus (52 pts)
10. Vancouver (43 pts – Knockout Rd elimination)
11. Chicago (57 pts – Knockout Rd elimination)
12. Real Salt Lake (57 pts – Conference Semi elimination)
13. New York (57 pts – Conference Semi elimination)
14. Kansas City (63 pts – Conference Semi elimination)
15. San Jose (66 pts – Conference Semi elimination)
16. Seattle Sounders (56 pts – Conference Championship elimination)
17. DC United (58 pts – Conference Championship elimination)
18. Houston (53 pts – MLS Cup finalist)
19. LA Galaxy (54 pts – MLS Cup finalist)
After last night’s MLS Playoffs matches, Juan Agudelo, Simon Elliott and CDChivasUSA.com have been eliminated of bracket contention.
While both Agudelo and CDChivasUSA.com had San Jose as winners against the LA Galaxy, the Chivas forward also thought Sporting Kansas City would make a comeback and beat Houston in the aggregate score (Final: 2-1) and make the MLS Cup Final. Chivas USA’s Technical Director Simon Elliott had predicted San Jose winner of MLS Cup, though he still has a chance of winning the Eastern Conference with New York if they advance to the final tonight. Also participating in the bracket, assistant equipment manager Hugo Perez has New York with the MLS Cup win, with the Red Bulls facing Houston in the conference final.
Playoffs continue tonight as Real Salt Lake battle against Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference semi-final (6:30p PT on MLSLive) and New York hosts D.C. United tonight at 4:30p PT (NBC Sports Network).
Bracket predictions for tonight:
Forward Juan Agudelo
Real Salt Lake – Seattle: Salt Lake win
New York – D.C. United: New York win in PK’s
Assistant Equipment Manager Hector Perez
Real Salt Lake – Seattle: Salt Lake win
New York – D.C. United: New York win
Technical Director Simon Elliott
Real Salt Lake – Seattle: Seattle win
New York – D.C. United: NY win
Real Salt Lake – Seattle: Salt Lake win
New York – D.C. United: New York win
MLS Cup Playoffs are in full swing! In the Western Conference, San Jose took a 1-nil lead over LA Galaxy in the first leg; the two will meet once again Wednesday at 8 p.m. PT (ESPN2). Real Salt Lake and Seattle were scoreless in the first match; watch the match live on MLS Live this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference, D.C. United and New York will look to advance to the Conference Final Wednesday night after the two came to a 1-1 in leg 1 (5 p.m. PT/ NBC Sports Network). Houston Dynamo took a 2-0 win over Sporting KC last Sunday; leg 2 will be disputed Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT (MLS Live).
Below are some of the picks made by the front office and locker room:
Juan Agudelo - Forward
San Jose - LA: San Jose win Sporting KC – Houston: Sporting win in PK’s
Real Salt Lake - Seattle: Salt Lake 2-1 D.C. United – New York: NY win in PK’s
Simon Elliott - Technical Director
San Jose - LA: San Jose win Sporting KC – Houston: Houston win
Real Salt Lake - Seattle: Seattle win D.C. United – New York: NY win
Hector Perez - Assistant Equipment Manager
San Jose - LA: San Jose win Sporting KC – Houston: Houston win
Real Salt Lake - Seattle: Salt Lake win D.C. United – New York: NY win
San Jose - LA: San Jose win 3-2 Sporting KC – Houston: Houston win
Real Salt Lake - Seattle: Salt Lake win D.C. United – New York: NY win
Who ya got?
CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH - ROBIN FRASER
On the match: At the end of the day a point on the road is good. Certainly, we want to continue to improve the way we’re closing out games and that needs to continue to get better. But at the end of the day, it was a really hard fought point. The players dug in, it’s a tough situation; this is a good team. This is a good team and it’s their place; lots of very special players that can make plays.
On the fans’ tribute to Juan Pablo Angel: When I went out and I saw the huge ‘Thank You Juan Pablo’ sign, I thought ‘What an impact he has had on this city.’ And for him to come back here today and score the goal and really, I thought, played very well, it was fitting. It was a fitting day for him.
On the tough competition the team has faced this year: We’ve played a lot of first place teams this year. I think we played Kansas City when they were in first place, San Jose when they were in first place, the Galaxy is the Galaxy, and New York has been a very good team for a long while, regardless of where they stand. Obviously, being in first place, they’re in good form at the moment. We’ve had several very difficult tests and I think this will only make us better as the season goes on.
CHIVAS USA FORWARD - JUAN PABLO ANGEL
On his return to New York: You know that people remember you, it’s because they appreciate what you did for them, for the organization, and for the club. For me, it meant everything. I will always be grateful to these supporters, to this club, for giving me the opportunity to express myself for a few years. I feel great; the memoires will never go away. And the banner…I wasn’t expecting it. For me it was very emotional.
On his goal: At the end of the day, you get your head into the game and you forget about the rest of the stuff. We knew that we were gonna play against probably the best team in the league as of now. They’re coming from four or five wins in a row, and we needed to get a result somehow.
On playing the full 90: I felt good during the game and I think I played a decent game. In general, I think it was an entertaining game. They had their chances and for us it was important to get at least a point. We go back home, just looking forward to the game this weekend.
CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF
On his transition to Chivas USA: I think it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far. I’ve had two days before the game training and then two games. For me, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Putting one foot in front of the other and really trying to concentrate on doing the best I can in the matches. What really excites me about the team is I think there’s a ton of potential, we just have to believe we can win. I think the big problem so far is giving up late goals. The belief that we can actually play, compete and win games is the last piece to the puzzle.
On his return to Los Angeles: It felt great. Obviously, being that it’s the first game, there’s always that extra bit of buzz. To walk back in as a player through the tunnel at Home Depot, it felt really good, I felt really comfortable. They’ve made it really easy for me: the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff. It’s been a whirlwind, so there hasn’t been too much down time, but they’ve made me feel comfortable straight away.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH - HANS BACKE
On the match: I’m quite pleased. We should have won this game, but the way we dictate the game in the second half, I must say it looked much better than before. Of course we had our chances. Sometimes games end up with a tie when it’s not always logical in football, but I must say I’m pleased with the performance.
On Kenny Cooper: I think he’s up to 11 now. He deserves it. He’s a hard worker, every game, every training session. And of course he has some good guys around him who can feed him with precise passes. I still think he has a lot to learn and I think he can improve.
On if he thinks Cooper should have been called up by the U.S. National Team: I don’t really comment about other teams and national teams. He’s hot, he’s scoring a lot and you can say normally strikers are in then. But I don’t bother, I must say, it’s up to (Juergen) Klinsmann.
On the play of Dane Richards: I hope that Dane could stay consistent. Sometimes you feel, okay should you sub Dane or get another guy in? But, you know, you need pace in this league. That’s why we keep him on the pitch almost all the time because sometimes he’s just running in behind and having an assist or things like that. I just hope we can keep working with Dane and make him a little bit more consistent to create chances.
On Thierry Henry’s return: I would say a little bit positive surprise because he’s been out, by the weekend, about four weeks. And that’s without competitive games, and it’s not enough to just do some training sessions. He was very, very close three or four times to have a free runner and to finish the game off. So I’m happy with his performance.
On Dax McCarty: First of all Dax, I think he’s still staying on a quite high level. Sometimes you can see unforced errors, but overall his work rate is phenomenal, winning some 50-50s. He’s been playing, I must say the last five or six games on a quite high level.
On Juan Pablo Angel’s return to Red Bull Arena: It’s quite expected. I would have expected him to score the winner too in the last dying minutes. But that’s the way it is, it always happens like that. He’s a clinical finisher and if you have a team that will feed him around the 18-yard box, he will still score goals.
NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER - RYAN MEARA
On the backline today versus earlier this year: We’ve been defending more since the DC game when they scored 4 goals on us. We basically felt embarrassed about it, especially against one of our rivals. We came together as a team and we’re sick of giving up goals like that. The back line has been great, but it’s a lot more- it’s the whole team defending and everyone chipping in.
On Henry’s return: Definitely [an emotional lift to the team]. He’s our captain, he’s a huge presence in our locker room. And not only that, on the field, he’s probably the best player in the league. So you always want him on the field when you can. I think we were a little unlucky to not get that second goal, but that’s just how it works sometimes.
On Pearce’s presence and addition to the back line: I think it’s been huge. He’s been around; he’s played in Germany and other places in Europe, as well as the MLS. Even during the Montréal game, we just met him the day before, but he fit right in. When someone is that good, it’s easy to play with. He’s been great and I’m looking forward to playing with him.
On Henry’s presence on the pitch: He’s such a big presence on the field, when our backs or midfielders are in our trouble, they know they can clip it up to him and put it near him, and he’ll try his best and more often that not he’ll come out with the ball. It’s huge for us.
On Juan Pablo Angel returning to the Red Bulls Arena and facing him: It was definitely cool. He’s been a great player; he was great for this franchise. And you can see how much it meant to the fans, the big signs they had. That’s why our fans are so great. Because I don’t think too many fans in this league would go to that extent to thank him for his time here.
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER - HEATH PEARCE
On playing against Chivas so quickly after being traded: It’s a quick turnaround obviously, but I’d prefer that compared to waiting a while, [to play] having it set in, and kind of get thrown into the fire. But, I enjoyed it I thought we could have gotten three points, but nonetheless it was good to get out there and play a home game with the guys.
On settling into his role on the Red Bulls: Today I felt a lot more settled in. Obviously the conditions in Montreal weren’t the greatest: the pitch isn’t the greatest, we played down a man there a little bit. So, I thought this game was a lot more comfortable for me, hopefully it gets better with time as well.
On Dax McCarty’s performance: Dax is a solid two way player and he makes a lot of late runs for us, that stretches their defense for us. He also takes a lot of pressure off us when were trying to go side to side. So, Dax had a great game he’s a great player.
On whether or not the mood of the Red Bulls locker room was if the team felt like it dropped points: I don’t know if that was the mood, but I think everyone is on the same page that we felt like we should have won that one. We dictated the play most of the time and we had our chances, so of course we’re a bit disappointed but I think it was a decent showing overall.
On Chivas’ style of play: They’re a possession orientated team as well, they’re a technical team, they like to keep the ball, they like to control the tempo. But, I thought we did a good job of implementing our style of play on them and controlling the flow of the play.
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER - DANE RICHARDS
On the feeling in the locker room: Well we’re disappointed. We created a bunch of chances and we could have won the game, but we didn’t. But, the point is better than a loss.
On playing with his former teammate Juan Pablo Angel: Before the game he said, “Dane no sprinting today and I’m like no scoring today Juan Pablo.” But I sprinted, he scored. So, we didn’t listen to each other.
On the roles of Henry and Marquez winning back possession for the team: Definitely with having Rafa in the midfield, we know we are going to keep the ball more. So that was no surprise today. And we know that Chivas is a very technical team, so we tried to keep the ball too.