Chivas USA started their 2014 campaign last week with a morale-boosting 3-2 win. While it's nice to reminisce on the result, it's worth remembering there are 33 more games on the league schedule, and the next one's right around the corner! Today, to get ready for the Goats' match Sunday against the Vancouver Whitecaps, we welcome Jon Szekeres of SB Nation Whitecaps blog Eighty Six Forever, to discuss his club ahead of the clash of the undefeated teams. Many thanks to Jon for taking the time to answer my questions!
The Goat Parade asks Eighty Six Forever:
1. Vancouver have a new coach and several new players this season. Can you get us up to speed on some of the key additions, as well as the style Carl Robinson will be looking to play?
Well, Sebastian Fernandez was absolutely sensational in his debut for the Whitecaps, which was a bit surprising considering he came over with very little fanfare. Still, he showed a deadly shot and creativity in the wing, and is currently nominated for goal of the week. Not too shabby. Pedro Morales was the big name acquisition in the off-season, so it was nice to see him set up a beauty for Kenny Miller, as well as score one of his own in the dying minutes. The young Matias Laba looked great defensively for Vancouver, he came over from Toronto FC late in the off-season.
Finally, though he had a rough outing in his first start as a Whitecap, defender Steven Beitashour should be better this weekend. Described as 'arguably one of the best right backs in the league' by Carl Robinson, he's got some lofty expectations to live up to.
Robinson seems to like the 4-2-3-1 approach, putting speedster Darren Mattocks up top.
2. The Whitecaps had one of the more surprising results of the opening weekend, after they trounced New York 4-1. Was that result a bit of a fluke, do you think, or does it show that they weren't given enough respect headed into the season?
The thing is, since they've joined MLS, the Whitecaps have always looked brilliant on opening night. However, as 'Caps fans know all too well, that hasn't translated into much post-season success at all. That being said, this club has so much potential, it's crazy. For instance, Kekuta Manneh and Gershon Koffie, two great young players who most teams would love to have, are fighting for playing time at their respective positions. It's a deep team, but it's a young team, especially up front. If the 'Caps can survive the growing pains, they will make noise in the West.
3. It seems Vancouver went all in on David Ousted as goalkeeper this year, and in his stint in MLS to date, he's looked shaky. Do you think he's up for the task to be the full-time No. 1?
Personally, I wasn't a fan of the move to bring Ousted in. Fan favorites Alain Rochat and Brad Knighton were displaced for a keeper that was supposedly going to be a pillar for the club moving forward. Well, Ousted has yet to 'steal' a match for the 'Caps, although he has looked solid at times. For instance, he looked good for most of the Red Bulls match, and then gave up a goal to them in garbage time because he was late getting off his line. For a young keeper, those types of brain cramps are expected. Ousted simply hasn't proved that he was worth what the 'Caps were forced to give up.
4. (Bonus) Prediction for this match?
Caps ride the momentum from their season opening win to a 2-0 victory.
You can find my answers to Jon's questions for the game here.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!