Wizards-Chivas USA Preview

BY foxsports • September 18, 2010

Since losing at home to Chivas USA two months ago, the Kansas City Wizards have been making a push for the postseason.

Kansas City, though, still has work to do as it seeks its first win at Chivas on Sunday.

A pair of defensive miscues in the second half doomed the Wizards (7-9-6) on July 10, and Chivas' Justin Braun took advantage of both in a 2-0 win. Kansas City has since gone 4-1-3 but still trails for the fourth and final wild-card spot.

The Wizards could make up some of that ground during a stretch of three games in seven days and should have plenty of rest for that run as they haven't played since a 1-all tie in Philadelphia on Sept. 4. Kansas City was scheduled to face Houston at home last Saturday, but the Kansas City T-Bones' Northern League playoff game caused that game to be moved to Wednesday night.

The Wizards will end that stretch with a home game against FC Dallas on Sept. 25.

"You have to be ready for these situations and adapt and adjust to them," coach Peter Vermes told the team's website. "We have to be prepared to deal with all the things that come our way, and this is just an another obstacle."

Captain Davy Arnaud has scored in each of the last two games - both on the road - and helped the Wizards to a 2-1-2 mark in their last five away from home. However, they are 0-3-2 all-time against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center, losing the last three.

Braun, who opened the scoring in a 2-0 home win over Kansas City last October, helped Chivas improve to 3-0-2 in its last five home games by tallying his team-best ninth goal in a 2-0 victory against New England on Sept. 10. Alan Gordon set up both scores to earn MLS player of the week honors.

"It's a good win for us," said coach Martin Vasquez, whose team is two points behind the Wizards. "We've been against the wall for most of the season. (The players) approached this game in the way we need to approach every game from now on. We just need to continue with this urgency."

Chivas (7-12-4) has won two of three in league play since an 0-2-1 stretch and gained confidence from a penalty-kick victory Tuesday night in an exhibition with its Mexican counterpart, Chivas Guadalajara, in San Diego.

"Guadalajara is of the biggest clubs in the world, and they have a lot of quality players," Braun told the team's website. "To know you can go up and play against that type of player always gives you confidence."

Chivas' top defender Jonathan Bornstein is questionable due to a right hip injury. Forward Giancarlo Maldonado and midfielder Blair Gavin are questionable with strained hamstrings.

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