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Around MLS: Chelis, Master Tactician?

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Chivas USA now stands second in the west, only two points behind FC Dallas. What is going on in Southern California?


There has been a crime in MLS.

Last night, the Chicago Fire were murdered on their own pitch by a determined and speedy Chivas USA.

The culprits were last seen at Toyota Park, and were described as defensively committed and spirited. Witnesses report that they contested every ball with maximum effort, and eventually gunned down the Fire in a hail of goals that had Frank Klopas weeping on the sidelines, with security holding him back to prevent him from picking up the scattered pieces that remained of Paolo Tornaghi.

RIP Paolo.

Despite ending the first half tied and on a strong note, the Chicago Fire's wall sprung a leak in the 57th minute after Juan Agudelo scored a pretty goal to give the Goats the advantage. That leak was simply the harbinger of things to come, and the dam broke completely by the end of the game, with Chivas taking a commanding presence in the midfield and scoring three more goals, suffocating the Fire and installing themselves firmly in second place in the Western Conference table.

Chelis has earned many critics for his Latino-preferred policy, but there is little to do currently except marvel at his short term results. After the humiliation of their poorly attended opening day loss at the hands of the Columbus Crew, the Goats have earned two wins and an impressive 10-man draw against reigning MLS Cup champions the LA Galaxy.

Through these four opening games, Chivas players cannot be called anything except completely committed to playing and running hard. Eric Avila and Juan Agudelo are playing like men possessed by the potential that has always eluded them, while Dan Kennedy continues being a Titan, bailing out his defense whenever they break down (which is still a regular occurence, despite their commitment to defense).

What is going on at Chivas USA? Is Chelis more brains than bluster? Does the latino blood thicken and grow more powerful as groups of of them converge together on the field under the same banner? Whatever the answer, it is clear all of Chelis' players have bought into his leadership 100%.

The bigger question is: How long will this last?