Chivas USA-Toronto FC Preview

An unbeaten record at home has Toronto FC thinking of a playoff

berth. Failing to win on a regular basis on the road could

ultimately keep the club out of the mix.

Toronto will try to continue dominating at home Saturday against

last-place Chivas USA, which is coming off an impressive victory to

keep surging.

Toronto improved to 5-0-4 at BMO Field after a 1-1 draw with

Dallas on July 24. The Reds have a 12-4 scoring advantage at home,

but playing outside Canada has doomed the club for much of

2010.

A 1-0 loss at Kansas City on a tipped ball that hit the

underside of the crossbar July 31 left Toronto with a 1-6-1 road

record.

“I for sure thought we didn’t deserve to lose. Not that we

played great … we made one mistake and we paid for it,” Toronto

coach Preki told the team’s official website. “Right now goals and

chances are not coming easy for us … (but) we don’t have time to

be upset.”

With 23 points, Toronto trails second-place New York by four,

but has only a three-point lead over fourth-place Chicago, and the

Fire have two games in hand. Preki said his team must step up if

Toronto wants to play beyond the regular season.

“We have a lot of talented players up top but right now making

chances is difficult for us,” he said. “If we want to get to the

playoffs that has to change.”

Toronto has only 19 goals this year, with Dwayne De Rosario (8)

and Chad Barrett (5) combining for 13.

The Reds have dropped five of six against Chivas, including a

2-0 defeat in the most recent matchup on Aug. 22 in southern

California.

A six-game losing streak from May 8-June 26 dropped Chivas

(5-9-3) into last place in the West. However, the Goats are 2-0-2

in their last four matches after a stunning 3-1 win over

East-leading Columbus last Saturday.

Justin Braun and Blair Gavin had first-half goals and Carlos

Borja also scored for the Goats, who won at home for the first time

since April 10.

“This has been our biggest win this year. From the first minute

until the 90th, we played well,” said coach Martin Vasquez.

Chivas has scored seven goals during the unbeaten streak, and

bolstered the offense Thursday by acquiring striker Alan Gordon

from Los Angeles for allocation money. Gordon has 16 goals in 99

career MLS matches.

“Alan is a big and strong striker who can put the ball in the

net,” Vasquez said. “As we continue to reshape our roster as we

push for a spot in the playoffs, this move gives us depth up

front.”

Chivas also will be facing Preki for the first time. He coached

the Goats from 2007-09, making the playoffs each season, and was

MLS coach of the year in his first year.

“We are going to play against a very difficult team at their

home,” said Vasquez, an assistant for two seasons under Preki.