Tale of the Tape
Chivas USA: 26 points (6-15-8), 9th place Western Conference (17th place overall), Goal differential: -21 (28/49), Last six: L-W-D-L-W-D
Houston Dynamo: 40 points (11-10-7), 4th place Eastern Conference (9th place overall), Goal differential: -3 (32/35), Last six: W-L-D-L-L-W
Match up to watch
Chivas USA Wingers versus Houston halfbacks: If Chivas wingers demonstrate the ability to control the flanks and find targets in the box, they will force the Houston halfbacks and Ricardo Clark to stay home, and deny a struggling an offense fresh recruits.
- Suspended next yellow card: Mario de Luna. (Houston: Andrew Driver, Boniek Garcia)
- Suspended after two yellow cards: Bobby Burling, Carlos Alvarez, Gabriel Farfan, Tristan Bowen, Oswaldo Minda. (Houston: Corey Ashe)
Why Chivas USA will win: Chivas USA have performed overall taking points in all but two of their last six contests. They handled the physicality that Portland threw at them and showed maturity when Erick Torres was denied a penalty. It was a far cry from the mass confrontation of a referee following the controversial game against the Philadelphia Union.
Chivas was happy to cede possession for the Timbers and patiently waited for the opportunity for a well-time counter. When it happened, the team pounced quickly feeding attack-minded winger Bryan de la Fuente for the go-ahead score. Chivas compressed the midfield enough against Portland that Caleb Porter was forced to put in the injured Diego Valeri in order to get the Timbers level.
If the team can maintain this standard of play against a very good, solid and well coached team with a spirited fan base, this could be three points in the books.
Why the Houston Dynamo will win: They're the better team and they're playing at home. Simple as that. If Chivas aren't able to track Brad Davis and if they don't force him to his right, the talented but recuperating midfielder can make them pay. Chivas USA plays like Carlos Alvarez and Erick Torres may need to drop deep to prevent a Houston free run from deep especially with both first choice halfbacks (Carlos Borja and Marky Delgado) not playing.
Why the game will end in a draw: Chivas has improved dramatically in their second half defense. However, that has come at the expense of their offense. A game plan for a point on the road might keep the ball between boxes and out of the net.
Prediction: Houston 1, Chivas 0
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