Major League Soccer
One Word to Describe the 2013 Chivas USA: "Defiant"
With 19 MLS teams, scores of personnel changes, and an ever-shifting competitive landscape, we decided to cut through the noise and craft short MLS team previews built around a one-word descriptor.
BY Matt Thacker PostedAfter finishing in the bottom two of the Western Conference the last three years, Chivas USA underwent a major renovation. Or is it renovación? The team went from afterthought to league villain by unapologetically embracing a Mexican identity and throwing conventional wisdom out the window. Last season, 17 players earned at least 10 starts for Chivas USA; only six remain on the roster. Drastic changes were needed for a team which did not have the talent to compete–losing by four goals in five of its final 14 matches last season. However, those changes have come in the form of key players being traded for low-value draft picks and allocation money. Meanwhile, Chivas has gone unbeaten in eight preseason matches and appears undaunted by mounting criticism of its personnel decisions. The outspoken new head coach known as “El Chelis” brings a captivating personality, a Mexican style of play, and possibly a 3-5-2 formation, but he ultimately needs the right players to succeed. Though Chivas has signed three players from its sister club in Guadalajara, and Juan Agudelo and Miller Bolaños both appear ready for breakout seasons, quality is lacking in many parts of the field. How much this team improves will depend on young players who–like their club–have something to prove. Expected finish: 9th in Western Conference. Don't expect as many blowout losses this season, but this team is still a few players short of being competitive.
February 27, 2013
February 27, 2013