Toronto FC-Chivas USA Preview

Toronto FC faces a long journey this weekend that could come at

the wrong time based on its upcoming schedule. A lengthy trip is

something that Chivas USA also knows well from this week.

Both these teams appear likely to miss the playoffs heading into

Saturday night’s matchup at the Home Depot Center, although Toronto

has a bigger game looming.

Chivas USA (7-12-11) is five points shy of a playoff spot, but

the three teams ahead of it all have played fewer matches. Toronto

FC (6-12-12), meanwhile, owns the league’s worst goal differential

at minus-20, and will likely have to look to next season for its

first-ever postseason berth.

Toronto, however, has a visit from Mexican powerhouse Pumas set

for Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League. The club still has a

chance to advance in that competition, yet coach Aron Winter

insists he is focused on this trip to the West Coast.

“Now I’m not thinking about the game for next week,” Winter told

Toronto’s official website. “I’m not going to look two and three

games forward – always the next game, and it’s Chivas.”

The travel in MLS has been difficult to adapt to for some of

Toronto’s veterans from Europe, including German captain Torsten

Frings and Dutch forward Danny Koevermans.

“It is difficult,” Koevermans said. “You’re not used to it. As a

European player, the farthest you can go with a plane is maybe

three hours and that’s it.”

Chivas has returned home after a 2-2 draw at D.C. on Wednesday

in which Dan Kennedy saved a penalty kick in stoppage time. That

ended a four-game slide, although Chivas is still winless in seven

(0-4-3).

“We did a lot of things well, we played very positively, we were

able to create some chances, and then we make a big save at the end

to at least walk out with a point,” coach Robin Fraser said. “So,

certainly the overall feeling walking out is that we gave a good

account of ourselves.”

Juan Pablo Angel scored twice to rally Chivas from a two-goal

deficit. He has four goals in five games since he was acquired from

archrival Los Angeles.

“It’s been a bit of a difficult time for us,” Angel said. “We

haven’t been playing the greatest football lately.”

Like Angel, Koevermans has three goals in two games after he

scored twice in Toronto’s 2-1 win over Colorado last Saturday.

Toronto has won consecutive MLS matches for the first time this

year.

“We’re still rebuilding,” Winter said. “And I like it because,

in the beginning of the league, there were also some moments and

periods where we were playing well but we didn’t win the games.

Now, the last games, we are making a very huge improvement.”

Chivas held a 14-8 advantage in shots in a 1-1 draw at Toronto

on April 2.