Vásquez content with new-look Chivas USA
CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez has been a busy man since taking the reins in Carson at the end of last year. The Mexican-American has spent much of his first year with the Red-and-White making wholesale changes to the roster to accommodate his attack-minded style.
The most recent of these changes were the loans of Chukwudi Chijindu, Gerson Mayen and Maykel Galindo to USL sides and the acquisition of striker Alan Gordon from the LA Galaxy. All in all, 17 players have retired, been transferred or released, or been loaned out on Vásquez’s watch, while 15 new faces have arrived in their place.
A season-ending injury to Dan Kennedy means that the Goats may be in the market for another goalkeeper, but all in all, Vásquez seems finally content with his list of players.
“We’re very happy with the guys we have now,” Vásquez told MLSsoccer.com. “You can always better your roster, but right now a solid goalkeeper to be the second or third goalkeeper would be helpful for the team. We’re very happy, otherwise."
The consistency with which Chivas USA’s roster has changed this season has certainly given the coaching staff something to think about when it comes to lineups and tactics. New additions mean new on-field partnerships, which often mean difficulty finding team chemistry.
“It can be hard,” Vásquez said. “But our approach, the fundamentals, the principles haven’t changed. We’ve tried to be consistent, especially defensively, to be tactically organized. Offensively, we try to create chances by keeping good possession of the ball.”
Out of the influx of new players have come a few tactical changes to the existing Chivas USA lineup. Team captain and 2010 World Cup participant Jonathan Bornstein, for example, has switched from left back to left midfield and will likely stay there for the remainder of the season, said Vásquez.
“If there’s a game where we need something more specific, we might go with [Bornstein] as a left back,” Vásquez said. “The change won’t have anything to do with Ante [Jazic] not doing well, but just for technical reasons. But yes, you can say [that Bornstein will permanently be in the midfield].”
As Bornstein has moved into the midfield, so, too, has Jesus Padilla moved up into the striker corps. The former Chivas de Guadalajara man started out as a flanking midfielder, but the addition of Rodolfo Espinoza has pushed Padilla forward alongside Gordon, Giancarlo Maldonado and Justin Braun.
“That’s a very good flexibility to have,” said Vásquez of his strikers. “At times, if there’s an urgency, we can go to a 4-3-3 and use three of [our attackers]. That internal competition has to be professional, and it has to be good, healthy competition. It’s going to benefit the team.”