1. How has the Jorge Vergara Show, the lack of a TV deal, the lawsuits, the exploded team roster, and everything else that gets pinned onto your club impacted the fanbase and gameday attendance? Is The Goat Parade excited for the future, cautiously optimistic, or pessimistic?
It's been over a year since the Vergara's bought out the Cue brothers shares and attained majority ownership of the team. There was feeling that with a solid, single ownership group, with one vision, that Chivas USA could now really put ducks in a row.
That has not happened. Vergara and his, for lack of a better word "antics", have completely transcended the product on the field. Attendance was never good to begin with but now it's flat out abysmal. For one thing, it's a tough sell. Chivas USA plays amid the shadow of, arguably, the most ambitious team in the league and as tenants at that. Last year, even with the steep discounts when compared to prices for L.A. Galaxy matches, fans hardly ever got a show as the team lowered the bar substantially for home goals in the Beckham era.
Another problem is, to be quite honest, it's no secret that Chivas USA is a feeder team. And not just a feeder team to Liga MX, but to a team, Guadalajara, whose unwavering mission is to field players for the Mexican national team.
Going into this season, there was cause for optimism believe it or not. No one was happy when valuable players like James Riley, Casey Townsend, Ben Zemanski--young players who can contribute to winning sides--were let go for next to nothing. Hiring Chelis and trying--admittedly in a very hasty fashion--to forge an identity for the team generated a real buzz factor about the team. Five games in, we were like Uma Thurman wearing that yellow tracksuit in Kill Bill. The league, flush with game tape caught up with the club and boom went the dynamite, as it were. Chelis, already having been totally undercut by the club, trading pieces without even informing him, was unceremoniously canned and Chivas preceded to regain its identity as the the leagues doormat. Chelis was an entertaining and captivating showman. I'm not going to excuse his behavior at Rio Tinto but I thought his exit was harsh. That said, we all knew he wouldn't make to next season. Not with Vergara.
We have incredible fans and two fantastic supporters groups. Management erred in my opinion when it took down signs critical of management. The logical consequence of course was hiring a pilot to do a flyover with an anti-Vergara message. So to actually answer your question, with just the topsy turvy nature of the last six months--and I haven't even mentioned the lawsuits or their spot on Real Sports--it's real difficult to even know if there will be a Chivas USA team next year. No tv deals, an embroiled owner and even with the team's meager payroll and and its skeleton staff, its hard to imagine the team is breaking even.
2. How is Carlos Bocanegra settling into the Chivas USA locker room? He is a big signing, but defense players don't get nearly as much attention as offensive signings.
So funny thing, Chivas traded down in the allocation order, yet got Carlos Bocanegra. It's just a little ironic, don'tcha think?
Boca has made three starts and has played well for the most part. It's a very small sample size and in one of those games he was shown a straight red for pretty reckless two footed, cleats-up challenge. He is listed as out on the MLS injury report with a right popliteus (read: knee) strain. Steve Purdy filled in for Boca in the last match against Colorado and performed reasonably well. Purdy played for El Salvador in the Gold Cup.
3. Chivas USA has scored more goals since the last time FC Dallas met them, but there still isn't any one standout striker. From looking at the MLS stats page, it seems there are 13 different goal scorers with 1 or 2 goals each. Is this part of the overall strategy of the new CUSA to spread out the attack? Is this something that needs to be remedied?
You could say that the team is spreading the wealth but wealth is really a very relative term when only DC United has scored fewer times than you have. Juan Agudelo started the season very well and, if you saw his golazo this week, is still playing at a very high level. It's arguable that management thought that under the system Chelis played that anyone put in the #9 position could be expected to tally goals. I can't really fault the team for thinking if only because so many the goals I've seen Agudelo score for New England have been him chasing after a long over a defender.
When Coach Jose Luis Real took the reins he re-established a four man backline. His contribution to offensive side of the ball was to do away with the mentality of trying to dispossess in eight-seconds or less and just really emphasize the kick and rush. The problem is that he generally has a solitary striker off on an island who is being double, sometimes even triple-teamed.
With MLS's blessing, Chivas acquired Erick "Cubo" Torres, a striker loaned from-wait for it-- CD Guadalajara. He's had a hand in each goal that has been scored since he arrived in the league, finding the net in his first two games and contributing an assist last week against Colorado. He's quick and has technical skills but I think he would be more of a threat if he another striker that he could play off of.
Thank you for reading and thanks again to Matt at the Goat Parade for taking the time for a question exchange. Be sure to check out my answers to his questions on the Chivas USA site.
What do you think of this midweek match up? Do you think our boys can exact revenge for the poor performance earlier this season? Are we doomed to miss the playoffs if FC Dallas doesn't win? Join the conversation in the comments below.