Preview: Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders

The Goats are the only Western Conference team which has never lost to Seattle

Marcelo Saragosa vs. Seattle Sounders

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

WATCH: Game Preview

The Basics

 Chivas USA
vs. Seattle
Sounders FC
Saturday, August 14th, 8:00pm PT
The Home Depot Center
in Carson, Calif.

TV Info

Los Angeles

In English on Prime Ticket, In Spanish on KWHY

Seattle

In English on KONG 6/16

Game Info

Western Conference rivals Seattle and Chivas face off for the first
time in 2010 this Saturday as the Goats welcome the Sounders to The Home Depot
Center. Seattle carries a seven-game unbeaten
streak into Los Angeles,
but is 0-2 all time against the Red-and-White in SoCal. Chivas USA dropped a tight 2-1 decision to Toronto in Canada
last weekend, but has lost just twice in the team’s last ten matches in all
competitions and has shown signs of major improvement lately. The encounter
should be a fierce one, as neither side will want to drop points against a
conference foe heading into the final third of the season.

Chivas USA

Goats Head Coach Martín Vásquez has spent the greater part
of his short tenure at the club trimming and shaping his roster. With the
recent addition of Alan Gordon (see video from his first practice here) and the subsequent loan of Cuban striker Maykel
Galindo to Tampa FC, it seems he has finally found a balance with which he is
happy. His work transitioning this new-look group of Goats into his more
attack-minded style of play has finally started paying off, with the club
showing signs of strong chemistry on the pitch in recent matches.

Of utmost concern for Chivas USA on Saturday will be getting the
ball to in-form striker Justin Braun. The 22-year-old Salt Lake City native has notched 7 goals so
far this season and is enjoying a breakout year. Venezuelan forward Giancarlo
Maldonado will also be dangerous up front. The 28-year-old scored the first
goal of his MLS career against Toronto
last weekend and is growing in confidence with each passing match.

Seattle Sounders

Seattle
has had a busy summer, with the team progressing to the semifinals of the U.S.
Open Cup, competing in the qualifying stages of the CONCACAF Champions League,
and hosting a friendly against Scottish side Celtic FC all within the last 40
days. The Sounders will be glad to have had a week of real rest before their
trip to The Home Depot Center, where they have never beaten Chivas USA.

Saturday’s match represents a good opportunity for new Seattle signings Blaise
Nkufo and Álvaro Fernandez to continue adapting to MLS. Both are veterans of
the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Nkufo with Switzerland
and Fernandez with Uruguay)
and both will likely become important pieces of the Sounders roster moving
forward. But for now, neither has played more than a month with his new side.
Look for the pair to be active against Chivas USA as they continue fitting into
Sigi Schmid’s system.

Heroes vs. Villains

Paulo Nagamura vs.
Álvaro Fernandez

There are few soccer rivalries more fabled than Brazil vs. Uruguay. The South American
neighbors have been rivals for as long as formal international soccer has been
around and there is no love lost between the two sides. Similarly, there will
likely be no love lost between Chivas USA’s stalwart Brazilian Paulo Nagamura
and Seattle’s new Uruguayan DP Alvaro Fernandez on Saturday as each fights the
other for control of the midfield. Fernandez has shown himself to be a potent
offensive threat, but few midfielders are more frustrating to opposing
attackers than Nagamura.

Stat that makes you
go Hmm….

Chivas USA
is the only team in the Western Conference that has never lost to Seattle.