Union-Chivas USA Preview

Chivas USA has jumped out to the best road start in club

history, but it hasn’t figured out how to win – or score – at home

in 2012.

The possible return of Juan Pablo Angel could change that.

Chivas tries for its first point at home since the last time the

Philadelphia Union were in town as these teams meet for the only

time in league play this season.

Oswaldo Minda scored in the first half of a 1-0 victory over

Toronto last Saturday, helping Chivas (3-3-0) improve to 3-0 on the

road for the first time.

That stands in stark contrast to Chivas’ results at home, where

the club has lost each of its first three matches by a 1-0


“If you look at our home performance, we’ve not been horrible,

we just haven’t been quite good enough,” coach Robin Fraser told

the team’s official website. “… I think the mentality has just

gotten better over the last couple weeks, a little bit stronger, a

little bit more fight, and as a result I expect to obviously

continue regardless of where we play.”

Chivas could get a boost if Angel returns to the lineup after

missing five matches with concussion symptoms suffered in the

preseason. The Columbian striker has been practicing with the team

since before last weekend’s contest.

“There is a possibility that he’ll be available (Saturday),”

Fraser told the official MLS website.

Angel scored seven goals in nine games for Chivas in 2011

following his midseason acquisition from Los Angeles, including the

equalizer in the 90th minute of a 1-all draw with the visiting

Union on Oct. 2.

Chivas has lost four straight at home since then.

Philadelphia (1-3-1) comes to town after ending an 0-6-2 skid

with a 1-0 victory over Columbus last Saturday. Gabriel Gomez, who

has two of the team’s three goals, converted a penalty kick in the

first half.

“These three points are big, but they’ll mean more if we play

well and get a ‘W’ next Saturday,” defender Sheanon Williams told

the Union’s official website. “I’m happy for us with this first win

and hopefully we’ll take this and keep it going into next


Williams will likely start a second straight game next to rookie

Raymon Gaddis with captain Danny Califf questionable due to a left

hamstring strain.

The Union could have forward Danny Mwanga back after he missed

the last game with a rib contusion. Mwanga, the No.1 overall pick

in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, scored the winner in a 3-2 home victory

over Chivas on June 25.

The Union’s Zac MacMath, who made two saves in the last road

game versus Chivas, will try to record three consecutive clean

sheets for the first time.

Chivas’ Dan Kennedy, the MLS player of the week, allowed four

scores to Philadelphia last season on just seven shots on goal.

Philadelphia is 2-0-2 in this series, with both ties coming on

the road.