Chivas, Revs looking to press postseason lifelines

Goats need to have a strong 90 minutes against New England

May 5 vs. New England Revolution Padilla

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The basics

Chivas USA (6-12-4, 22 points, eighth place in Western Conference) vs. New England Revolution (7-12-3, 24 points, sixth place in Eastern Conference) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

TV info

10:30 p.m. ET, KWHY, KDOC (local); MLS Direct Kick, MatchDay Live

Game intro

WATCH: Preview of Chivas USA vs. New England Revolution

Chivas USA host the Revolution on Friday in a must-win game for both
sides. The Goats will be looking to bounce back after two consecutive
road losses that saw them concede six goals in just 180 minutes of
play. The Revolution, meanwhile, are coming off a huge home victory
over Seattle and will be bristling with confidence when they pull into
Southern California.

Chivas USA

There’s no way around it: The Red-and-White must win on Friday
night. Sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with just eight
games left to play, the Goats literally cannot afford to drop any more
points in 2010 – especially at home.

Of crucial importance for Chivas USA will be kick-starting the
team’s offense. They’ve scored a Western Conference-worst 12 goals at
home so far this season, and must improve if they are to maintain any
legitimate hopes of a postseason appearance.

Look for leading scorer Justin Braun
to be back on the team sheet after getting a rest against Colorado. The
big Salt Lake City native has been in fine form this season and should
pose a threat to a Revolution back line that has conceded 22 goals on
the road in 2010 – the second-worst mark in all of MLS.

New England Revolution

The Revs
biggest problem this season has been inconsistency. One week, they
concede two goals in the final 10 minutes of play to lose at home to
the Philadelphia Union,
and the next, they drop three notches on Seattle in the span of 11
minutes for a thrilling 3-1 win. The key for Steve Nicol will be making
sure the latter team shows up in Los Angeles and not the former.

The Revolution have been lead this season by Marko Perovic and Zach Schilawski, who have six and five goals, respectively. Schilawski, a former teammate of Chivas USA’s Michael Lahoud at Wake Forest, has particularly impressed in this, his rookie season.

But while the Goats will certainly be concerned with containing New England’s strikers, it’s midfielder Shalrie Joseph
who poses the biggest threat. The Grenada International has been named
to the MLS Best XI in each of the last three seasons and is the engine
that drives the Revolution’s offense. Shutting him down will be
priority number one for Martín Vásquez & Co.

Heroes & villains

Paulo Nagamura vs. Shalrie Joseph: These MLS veterans have
met many times before. Friday night will see a new round of battle as
each fights the other for control of the midfield at the Home Depot
Center.

Nagamura is a defensive specialist; a true nuisance to any opposing
attacker who happens to stroll through the center of the pitch. Joseph,
on the other hand, is a visionary passer who tallied eight assists last
season and who has five in 2010. Control of the game will likely come
down to which of the two can better assert his will in the midfield.

Stat that makes you go Hmm…

New England have scored 11 of their 14 all-time goals against Chivas USA in the second half of play.