Jesse Marsch goes back to California to coach against his former team with whom he wore colors that made him a Youtube star with an entanglement with Sir David Beckham. Since then, the veteran MLS player has gone through the coaching route with the US National Team and now as a rookie MLS head coach of the Montreal Impact. A very charismatic and loved player at Chivas USA, Marsch didn't mind doing his expansion draft and MLS trade shopping at the Goat stand.
Also coming back to California are Justin Braun , aka Braunzilla, and Zarek Valentin who wouldn't mind for their new team to get 3 points and jump higher in the Eastern Conference standings. Zarek Valentin was a no-brainer expansion pick for Jesse Marsch and made it clear that he would be staying in Montreal as he said during the last practice in Montreal before flying to California:
Right away, he was one of the biggest surprises in terms of names on the list. Brian Ching was another, but Zarek was pretty big.'We got lots of calls from other teams about Zarek looking to make a trade with us, and we pretty much said right away 'We're not trading him. We're taking him.
Let's look at some game notes for the game between C.D Chivas USA and the Montreal Impact. Don't forget to read Alicia Ratterree's answers to our Three Questions to get to know Chivas USA from a local expert perspective.
More after the jump
Chivas USA vs Montreal Impact
The Home Depot Center, Carson, California
June 20, 2012
7:30 p.m. PT (PT; TVA)
Referee: Allen Chapman. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 17.0; Y/gm: 2.0; R: 0; pens: 0
Chivas USA (6th in the Western Conference, 15 pts, 4W-7L-3T)
Injury Report: OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); MF Nick Labrocca (L hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Tristen Bowen (R ankle); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jose Correa (R hamstring strain); MF Miller Bolanos (L hamstring strain)
Probable Lineup: To Be Announced at a later time
Montreal Impact (8th in the Eastern Conference, 15 pts, 4W-7L-3T)
Injury Report: OUT: DF Hassoun Camara (R hamstring strain); DF Matteo Ferrari (R quad strain); FW Bernardo Corradi (L knee sprain)
Probable Lineup: Ricketts - Valentin , Rivas, Thomas, Brovsky - Warner, Bernier , Felipe,Arnaud,Mapp - Wenger
Montreal Defense vs Chivas Offense
With Matteo Ferrari out for 4-6 weeks, Shavar Thomas will take over and play next to Nelson Rivas. With only 9 goals scored in 14 games , you would think that the Chivas USA offensive threat is not be taken seriously but Juan Agudelo has joined the team and has scored 1 goal in 2 games since being a Goat. As much as being held scoreless by Sporting Kansas City (3-0 loss), a 2-striker partnership (Agudelo - Juan Pablo Angel) could be a challenge for a strong Montreal defence as it faces quality players but in a team in average form recently (last 5 games for Chivas USA T-W-T-T-L).
Not very familiar with the Chivas midfield, Labrocca's absence will be felt by Chivas but still have interesting choices with Minda and Blari Gavin. From there, the midfield matchup (as it usually does in soccer) should decide the fate of the game pretty quickly. I am quite eager to discover this Chivas USA team.
Chivas Defense vs Montreal Offense
The most probable season-ending knee injury for Bernardo Corradi has shrinked the offensive depth of the Montreal Impact. With Andrew Wenger getting more playing time and showing his worth, the Duke graduate will be supported by a strong midfield that will find him on the field. The challenge will come from a strong (on paper) Chivas USA defence with Rauwshan McKenzie and Danny Califf that could be a strong partnership for the season and beyond. Once again, if the Montreal midfield overcomes the Chivas USA midfield, the Goats defence might find it difficult to defend properly but goalkeeper Dan Kennedy will be there to impose himself in the box. James Riley is a good right back (drafted by the Impact in the expansion draft and traded for Braun and Gerson Mayen) and will provide offensive support to Chivas USA which could make his zone a target that Montreal can attack.
The side midfielders of Montreal will continue combining with Felipe Martins, the new playmaker for the team, who has been playing like a free electron. He has been offering his services as the extra-man to either Justin Mapp and/or Davy Arnaud. Even going as an extra striker when Patrice Bernier pushes high when he carries the ball.
Both teams are in a delicate position in the standing with the playoffs not far from their reach. The full 3 points will be a priority for both teams and a tie might feel like a disappointment for both. It will be interesting to see which team will carry a hangover of defeat for Chivas USA or victory for the Montreal Impact