15 March 2007

Match Briefing for 12.A.03: Chivas Guadalajara

Match #: 12.A.03

Opponent: Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Mexico)

Six Word Novel Preview: Home away from home? Not RFK.

CONCACAF Champions Record: First Match of Semifinals
CD Guadalajara - 1962 Champions (Corrected, see comments)
D.C. United - 1998 Champions

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 8PM

Radio: ??

Previous Meeting: DC United 2 : 2 CD Guadalajara (August 24, 1997) [Note: Corrected, see comments]

The Stakes: You're going to hear a lot about how this will be a measuring stick about MLS. I don't buy these arguments. This game is simply a match beteween DC United and a Mexican team that's playing quite well in their league right now. For DCU, the questions about the defensive play will come to the forefront, and the ability to manage Chivas's wing play and counter attack will say a lot about how much progress has been made. DC United needs a lead coming out of this leg to maintain a decent hope of advancing, but hope is not dead with a draw.

For Chivas, the stakes are lower. They would like to come out of RFK close enough to take the win at home. Sunday they will be playing Club America at Estadio Azteca, and will no doubt want to take three points in that match. While they may not be looking past D.C. United, they may have to deal with a small case of fixture congestion that causes them not to play their best XI for the full 90 minutes.

Previews from the DCUniverse: DCUnited.COM, Ian Penderleith, Washington Post, Washington Times, The Offside: DC United, UnitedMania, DCist, Off-Wing Opinion (others added if/when we see them).

D's Location: Kinney has an extra ticket. Or rather, he had one. It's mine now. I just need to pay him. I'm not missing this game. No sir.

What to Look For: From Penderleith's article above: "The defense also practiced dealing with balls coming in from wide positions, as this is where D.C. feels Chivas can be at its most dangerous." That jives with what we saw from Chivas in their game on Sunday. And it will be a key. I'm not saying that I expect defenders to deny Chivas the ball on passes or early crosses in from the wing, but I damn sure expect them to deny Chivas space. If DC can be opportunistic in exploiting mistakes from Chivas, and limit the Chivas' supply from the wing, they can win this game. Key players to watch: Erpen, Namoff, Olsen. Also watch Perkins not on how well he goes from side to side, or how well he kicks the ball, but how quickly he can get up or down in his positioning.

Expectations: Every fan of Mexico on the East Coast will be at this game. That means you, yes YOU, must have a ticket and be in black. Walk up and buy one. I don't care if you own a DC United replica or not, get a black button-up wear the damn thing. Hell, it works for Jay-Z. If you're on the quiet side, you damn well clap along when a certain drummer shows up in your section. If you're on the other side, you sing, you clap, and you stand. If it rains, you do not head to the back. You get wet. Or bring something with a hood, provided it is black. Okay, PSA over.

The fact is, I expect a draw. While that won't bode well, it isn't the end of the world. United can score goals in other countries. Remember they put a number up in the Sudamericana away leg, even though they lost. Anything better than a draw, and DCU will have exceeded expectations. A loss is, however, a disappointment.

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At 15 March, 2007 11:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CD Olimpia - 1962 Champions


At 15 March, 2007 12:05, Blogger D said...

Cut and paste crime. Ooops. That # is correct for Chivas.

At 15 March, 2007 14:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previous meeting - tied for third in this competition, either '97 or '99.

At 15 March, 2007 14:44, Blogger D said...

Goddamn, you're right. I missed that. That's what I get for being out of the city.

At 15 March, 2007 20:44, Blogger tucksider said...

20th minute... i don't feel like this is going particularly well so far. cards for Gomez and Boswell? crap.

At 15 March, 2007 22:04, Blogger unitedfan247 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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