Chivas focused on improving attack
While Chivas USA earned itself a reputation last year for stingy
defense, allowing the second-fewest number of goals in the league, the
team struggled at the other end of the field. The Red-and-White scored
just 34 goals in 2009, the lowest mark in the Western Conference.
The arrival of new Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez could however
signal a sea change. Vásquez sees improving the Red-and-White offense as
one of his primary objectives, and has already begun to retool the
attack in the opening weeks of preseason.
"One of the things that we need to work on this year is our play in the
attacking half," said Vásquez. "I see a team that understands the
defensive side very well, but we want to be a good, balanced team. We
have guys that are very offensively strong; we have to understand our
strengths and use them for the benefit of our team."
Chivas USA's attacking corps is lead by returning players Maykel Galindo
and Justin Braun. The two combined for seven goals and four assists
last year, and, with the departure of Eduardo Lillingston to Tijuana,
will be likely to play a large role in the Red-and-White's attack this
"[The attackers] are doing well," said Galindo of recent training camps.
"One of the most important things for us is mobility on the ball.
That's what gives us the space to move forward and create. We're working
hard and I think we're making improvements."
Vásquez has given the Chivas USA strikers a bit more freedom in the
offensive third, a tactic which has already begun to pay off. The
Red-and-White have scored 11 goals in three preseason scrimmages.
Martín wants to be pushing forward," said Braun. "He wants to take
those. As a player, it gives you that confidence to take people on a
little more and do some things on your own."
Braun and Galindo are joined on the front line by fellow returning
player Maicon Santos, as well as a host of trialists.
"We have a lot of potential there," said Braun. "We have a lot of guys
fighting for minutes and I think that's going to help all of us improve
our level of play. I think if we can stay healthy, we're going to have a
One of the new players making waves in the attack is Artur Aghasyan. The
former Ventura County Fusion striker has already scored four preseason
goals, netting in each of Chivas USA's first three scrimmages.
"Everything is going well," said Aghasyan. "I'm getting more confident.
I'm happy for that and I'm going to try and score more goals."
Another source of offensive spark has been the left-sided play of
Jonathan Bornstein and Jorge Flores. With Bornstein at left back and
Flores on the left of midfield, the two players, who each have both
offensive and defensive experience, are able to effortlessly overlap
each other on attacks.
"[Flores] played left back last year and the year before so I think he
knows when to transition," said Bornstein. "We have to keep that balance
on the field and I think we did a pretty good job of that. It helps
when you have two guys that can play both ways. We're going to keep
working on that and hopefully keep getting better at it."
Chivas USA will travel to Guadalajara on Thursday for more preseason
training, and the team will be looking to continue its offensive
improvement when it takes on Mexican side Irapuato FC in a preseason
scrimmage on Saturday.