The Three Questions tradition continues on the SBNation Soccer Network as East meets West in mid-week MLS action. The Montreal Impact travel to Los Angeles to play Chivas USA, nicknamed The Goats, at the Home Depot Center. It was a blast exchanging and talking to Alicia Ratterree , Managing Editor of The Goat Parade, as fans of both teams will have an insight on the opposite team from an interesting perspective.
My fancy, everlasting answers full of wisdom to Alicia can be found here.
Sofiane of Mount Royal Soccer asks Alicia of the Goat Parade
1. Chivas USA has joined the MLS in 2004. While still keeping the colors and logo (without the stars) of the parent club Guadalajara, is the identity of the club solely Mexican with a Californian flavor? Was the latino community in California the target fans when C.D Chivas USA was created?
Yes, the club tried to appeal to the Latino fanbase in Southern California when they were formed, and that outlook has lead to mixed results. On one hand, there is a substantial portion of the fanbase who are Latino, and I think the club has done a great job of going for a bilingual and bicultural approach, something that is of course familiar to Montreal. On the other hand, the fanbase is not solely Mexican or Latino, and certainly some questioned the strategy of naming the club after a club in Mexico. While Chivas de Guadalajara is one of the top clubs in Mexico, there are many other clubs that Mexican Americans follow, and so the Chivas brand probably equally attracts and repels potential fans.
More after the jump
In recent years, the club has aligned itself with MLS far more, and I think that is for the best. Make no mistake, this team is all about MLS, and it is an American club first and foremost. The perception that the team is "The Mexican club" on and off the field is inaccurate and it is frustrating at times that it persists despite all evidence to the contrary. I think Chivas USA has improved the image of their club in recent years, but the rest of the league needs to catch up with the shifts.
2. If you had to present the C.D Chivas USA to the Montreal Impact fans, how would you describe and rate its main weakness and its main strength?
Chivas have had a pretty good season so far, and their record overall is a little harsh compared to their form. The defense has been very strong this season, although they did lose 3-0 to Real Salt Lake last weekend. Still, RSL is an outstanding team and Chivas had a very poor night. I expect the defense in particular to bounce back against Montreal and I think it will be very difficult for the Impact to break them down. In particular, goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is one of the best in the league in my view, and even he had a poor match against RSL, perhaps his only bad game since taking over the starter's role full time last season. I don't expect Kennedy to have two poor performances in a row.
The biggest weakness for this team all season has been scoring. They've only scored two goals in MLS play once this season, and they are third-last in total goals with 9 in 14 matches. Needless to say, that is a problem. What gives Chivas fans hope is that they have welcomed back Juan Pablo Angel, who missed several matches early in the season with a concussion, and he has started contributing. In addition, Chivas have made a pair of acquisitions in Colombian forward Jose Correa and U.S. international Juan Agudelo, and both have already made a difference, each scoring two for the team in all competitions. The expectation is that the attack will need to improve substantially for the remainder of the season if the Goats are to advance to the MLS playoffs, and hopefully Angel, Correa and Agudelo (among many others) will supply consistent scoring.
3. Double Jeopardy: What is your prediction for the game between the Impact and Chivas?
I'll predict a 1-0 win for Chivas. I think Chivas were embarrassed Saturday and will want to bounce back quickly.