Jeff King of the Goat Parade was kind enough to answer our questions about Chivas USA ahead of their visit to Red Bull Arena this evening.
1) Robin Fraser was hired with the objective of improving Chivas' defense. Has this been realized and how has Andrew Boyens performed this season?
Jeff King: I think the defense is much better. Through 8 games, we've conceded 7 goals and earned three shutouts. Last season, we had conceded 11 goals in 8 games with two shutouts. It's a marked improvement, certainly. And Boyens has been a very capable fill-in for Conrad. I suspect that Conrad will get the starting nod when he's healthy, but the Kiwi has been great.
2) Besides for the years with Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas has seemed to lack really true star power. Is there one particular Goat that Red Bull fans should keep their eyes out for?
JK: If you had asked me that last year, I would have said Justin Braun. He's been called into the USMNT January camp twice now, and looked poised for a breakout season in 2011. But with Fraser using him primarily as a sub so far this year, his ability to become a true star is a bit hindered.
3) Chivas had garnered few headlines this season until the Javi Morales injury. How has the club dealt with the controversy and how significant will the absence of Marcos Mondaini be?
JK: Mondaini is a great player, but we aren't short on capable wingers. Panchito Mendoza, for example, is more than capable of filling into the slot, as are Lahoud or Braun. We'll just have to see what happens. As for the controversy, Chivas has handled it well. It wasn't malicious and he got what, I thought, was an appropriate suspension.