Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
All-time record: Colorado leads the series, 6-5-4
7:30 p.m. ET on KDOC-TV and KWHY (Spanish) in Los Angeles. Nationally on MLS Direct Kick.
What's at stake?
Both teams look for a positive start to the season, and Chivas USA might have the edge. The Red-and-White haven’t lost their season-opener since 2005, and will be looking to continue that streak against the Rapids. Said Chivas striker Justin Braun: “If you can get a win from that first game, it gives you a little more belief going forward.”
This will be the second time that Chivas USA hosts Colorado in the season-opener, having downed the Rapids 2-1 in last year’s kick-off. Colorado avenged the loss with a 4-0 in Commerce City in August.
The man who did the most damage in this rivalry last year is gone, but Paulo Nagamura’s brace against the Rapids in last season’s home opener is tough to forget. The former Chivas midfielder scored two goals just five minutes apart early in the second half to erase a first-half tally from Omar Cummings and send Chivas on a red-hot start to a 2009 season that ended in the postseason.
Heroes & Villains…
Chivas’ defense vs. Conor Casey: One of Chivas’ keys for success will be containing last year’s MLS Golden Boot runner-up Conor Casey. The task will likely fall to Jonathan Bornstein, who knows Casey well from their time together in national-team camps. “He’s defiantly a force to be reckoned with,” Bornstein said of Casey. “He’s a big body up there and he knows how to score goals. He’s a lot bigger than me, but I think I have more speed than he does, so I can use that to my advantage.”
Marvell Wynne vs. Jetlag: Colorado made perhaps the biggest trade of a frantic last week before the season, shipping underrated defender Nick LaBrocca to Toronto for Marvell Wynne. The trade went down Thursday, meaning there’s no guarantee that TFC’s former star will suit up for this one.
Stat that makes you go, “Hmm …”
Chivas USA only conceded two goals all last season within the first twenty minutes of a match. The only team to score on the Red-and-White before the twenty-minute mark? The Colorado Rapids, on Aug. 8.
He said it:
“I think we’re ready. In terms of starting the season, I think everyone’s excited. Everyone has put everything that went on with there maybe not being a start to the season behind them, and we’re really focused on the task at hand for tomorrow.” – Chivas defender Jonathan Bornstein