Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dynamo-Chivas Prematch Interview with Alex of Offside Chivas

Periodically, we are fortunate enough to exchange questions and answers with fan blogs of our weekly opponents. This week, we feature questions answered by Alex who writes about Chivas USA for

Wishfully, the Goat's Tree Formation?

With little time to get this out and without further adieu, here is the interview:

NUTMEGGED: What's the deal with Guzan? Does the rumored hangover from his denied English work permt truly linger? Did someone put butter on his gloves? Or was last week's derby match simply a bad game?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: Brad is a spectacular goalie. I don't think that Brad is the sole issue at back. The team is not playing as a defensive unit. The communication is lacking in the back 5 due to inconsistent line ups. Individually, no one defender has been to blame for the issues, but as a whole (Brad included), the unit has not done it's job. The only thing that will help is time on the pitch. This defense is about 6 weeks behind the rest is terms of consistency. It will come.

NUTMEGGED: Not only has Chivas struggled against the Dynamo the last few year, Robertson Stadium has been an impregnable Mordor for the Goats. This year, both teams appear to be in a bit of a funk, with the usual standouts not standing out. The Orange will come out like angry wasps bringing Guzan quickly under assault. What must Chivas do they haven't done in previous away matches at Robertson?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: This year Chivas USA, when healthy, have the strongest strike force in the league, especially taking into account new addition Alecko Eskandarian. Chivas USA have had trouble scoring at Robertson. I think the pieces are in place this year to score some goals.

One other issue Chivas USA have struggled with is adapting to the style of play. Chivas USA play a possession game, and as a unit. When Chivas USA hold the ball, they are the most dangerous. Houston does not give Chivas USA any room, not allowing the team to control the tempo or possession.

NUTMEGGED: How do you feel about the decision to let Amado Guevara go without compensation or the decision to acquire him in the forst place? Given Guevara's start in the Great White North where he's taken off like a true hoser (Canuck), do you feel this was a mistake?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: It was unfortunate that the relationship between Guevara and Preki did not work out. He has some of the qualities the team is looking for. I understand why Bradley gave up so much for a player of his quality. That said, I'm glad he left and supported Preki with his decision. No one person is above the team, and that mentality is a cancer in the locker room. I personally think the team did better without him, creating a core of great players, not just one star.

NUTMEGGED: Preki pretty much was gifted with a very good team built by Bob Bradley. How do you think Preki has fared strengthening or improving what Bob brought (ie, your DP shines in Toronto while Chivas sits uncompensated)? Are his decisions beginning to become worrisome? If you had your druthers, who would you chose to manage the team- Bradley or Preki?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: Bradley is a great coach, and there is a reason that he is now the coach of the National Team. Bradley put a decent team together, one with potential. I think in 2006, the team placed seventh in the overall table. The talent he acquired was raw, and predominately came from the MLS draft. Preki acquired a few key players that allowed the team to take the 2007 western conference. Key acquisitions were important, including Paulo Nagamura and Shavar Thomas. Those players may not get a lot of credit, but added the bit of experience and skill the team was missing.

The additions in 2008 made by Preki are outstanding. I say this only because of the practices I've seen and the conversations I have had with players. Wicky and Esky are two players that will perform for Chivas USA. Wicky is unknown here, but will show Beckham-like qualities when he gets healthy and playing time. Alecko is one of the best strikers in the league. He was quiet in RSL, mainly do to poor service and an injury he had for most of the season, but when these two players are healthy, they will be competing for a starting position.

As far as his move with Guevara, it needed to be done. Incase we forgot, his last game playing for Chivas USA, he was substituted and on his way off the field, he shoved an official. When Preki tried to trade Guevara to a taker (TFC), he refused to go (against MLS rules). I am glad he is not Chivas USA.

NUTMEGGED: In the Galaxy game, when Razov scored, We thought, "Oh my. This is not the last goal in this game. This is going to get ugly." And at that point if someone had told us the game would end 5-2, I would have predicted Chivas had won. But the defense just seemed to completely fall apart, not just Guzan, but Suarez and Lawson Vaughn. What do you think Chivas must do differently against Dynamo to solve these problems?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: My opinion on the Galaxy game is the following. The team didn’t really fall apart. Donovan was unstoppable as he has been most of this year. You should agree that the only reason the Galaxy tied the Dynamo a couple weeks ago was because of Donovan. He is single handedly keeping that team in the hunt (by scoring goals). He is on a rampage and IF he can keep it up, then they will qualify for a playoff spot.

I attribute the 5-2 score line to Preki. He chased the game, and I applaud that. He pulled off a defender and inserted a striker to go after a win. Was it the right decision? Zero points are zero points, so might as well go after them.

NUTMEGGED: What makes you most concerned about what you'll see from Dynamo?

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: Hard play. The Dynamo play hard (on the borderline of dirty). No offense intended, it is always a hard match. If we can’t control the game, we find difficulty scoring.

NUTMEGGED: And last,your final score prediction:

OFFSIDE CHIVAS: No prediction …… Last few I predicted W’s for the Red and White and we see what happened. I will predict this. These two teams, regardless of current form, are the best teams in the Western Conference. The match up will be intense.

Due to me not giving enough info to Alex @ Offside Chivas, reciprocal question and answers will not be on the Offsides Chivas site this week. Thank you, Alex, for your excellent answers and hopefully we can correspond in the future.

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