Sunday, May 18, 2008

MLS: Chivas Battle Back

Chivas 3 DC United 1

A surprising turn of events, and the kind of turn around that can lift a club to bigger heights—give the club a boost of confidence for the ensuing games and potentially the entire season.

Preki exudes an intensity that must filter down to his players. His eyes are always darting around whenever the camera catches him on the sidelines. This might be a leap, but in the past, the bulk of the MLS coaches were a haughty bunch, thinking they new everything. Now, the MLS has a strong group of former players who know the game, who played the game well, and know how to treat players.

Gallardo cut the ball back and accurately laced home the first goal for DC, but the second half was all Chivas. Jesse Marsch will be all over the TV and Internet highlight clips as he was caught diving in on this goal.

The classy Gallardo is a quite a few notches above everyone around him. He was fouled blatantly a few times and his passes were too sharp and fast for his own teammates—he’ll have to tone it down a bit. He’s not playing with on the Argentine national team anymore. Marsch, who would score later to redeem himself, is tireless and a fighter, the kind of guy you want on your team. And, to give Marsch a bit of a let off, he was playing out of position, as Preki tried a 3-4-3 system to start things off as they were low on defenders but switched at half to the usual 4-4-2.

Atiba Harris had his hand in all three goals for Chivas. And Flores, who came on for Ante Razov, is becoming much more than just a good story but the real deal:

Flores, the original Sueno MLS winner who had a goal and an assist in a recent swing through England with the U.S. under-20 national team, scored his first career MLS goal in the 82nd minute when he ripped a shot from the left side of the penalty area, set up by a cross-field pass by Harris after he was sprung free with a long ball over the top from Kljestan.

Own Goal of the Year: The own goal of the year goes to Riley of the San Jose Earthquakes, a miscommunication and a bit too much mustard on this header and his got the own goal of the year in the bag. In terms of importance though, he’s got nothing on Liverpool’s Riise. San Jose is going to have a tough time getting out from under two tough losses in a row, and they play Houston next week in a sort of divorced family of a game.