Monday, August 22, 2005
I can still learn things
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Chivas USA - MetroStars game at Giants Stadium. A good crowd, a great game and a tough finish for las rayadas made for quite an enjoyable experience. Here's what I learned at the game.

• Chivas USA was as good as any team in the league in the first half with Ramón at the back. They transitioned from defense to offense in spectacular fashion and quickly had themselves in the counter-attack after every Metros foray. Juan Pablo Garcia was the catalyst in attack and Palencia came back to help in defense far more than I expected.

• In the second half, Chivas USA wasn't nearly as attacking oriented. I don't know if they were just shocked to have the lead but Garcia was gassed in about the 60th minute and the attack dwindled after that. He's going to be the key for getting the ball from defense to attack.

• Antonio Martinez on the left side had all sorts of room to run in but he kept running offsides or couldn't get anyone to serve him the ball. At least in the first half he could have beaten Jeff Parke no less than five times but couldn't time his runs to get the ball. He was begging for it.

• Palencia is the real deal. If he played all season (as I hope he will next year), he could easily have 20 goals. His shot from 20 yards was one most MLS strikers would have put 60 rows up behind the goal. His flick on the corner wasn't anything to scoff at, either.

• Metros benefitted from some iffy refereeing. My issue with the referee wasn't that he called the penalties ... it's that he wasn't consistent. Sometimes playing rough was let to play on while sometimes the slightest thing was a quick whistle. I learned that refereeing is not expressly controlled by MLS but that they don't have that much to work with.

• I learned Chivas USA is still overmatched on defense.

• I learned that Amado Guevara is one of three or four players in MLS who can take over a game by himself (which he did in the second half after being pretty invisible during the first half).

• I learned that goalkeepers still can't believe Guevara's going to shoot low and to the left EVERY TIME he takes a pk. Dive that way until he doesn't or something.

• I learned that I can get from my apartment on the upper west side, to the stadium and back in four hours. That's not bad (including the two hours for the game). I was out of the stadium at 8:15 last night and in my apartment by 9.

• I learned that Chivas USA will be a force next year.

• And, finally, I learned that no team needs its own home stadium more than the MetroStars. Good luck to 'em.


Blogger D said...

While I don't doubt you, I'm curious--- why do you think C-USA will be a force next year?

9:05 AM  
Blogger maradawga said...

I thought their transition to attacking was fantastic and it was obvious they were well coached. With new defenders next year (I think Sequeira is the only one you'll see back), those 3-3 draws will become 3-1 wins.

Will they go undefeated? Not a chance. However, with an offseason to put together a competent roster (with a decent defense and some depth in the midfield), I think they'll be one of the better teams in the Western Conference next year.

They have additional senior and youth international slots for a little while (I don't know if it's just next year or for the year after as well) and I don't think any team in the league will take advantage of that better than they will.

10:02 AM  
Blogger scaryice said...

If Chivas get Marvell Wynne and another good allocation or two, then they could (should?) easily be the favorites next year. I'm looking forward to seeing that. I never thought it was a bad idea, and Chivas being good is good for the league.

3:55 AM  

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