The World Cup break has been kind to us all: We, the watchers, have been able to watch plenty of scintillating soccer. The players have been able to watch, too, but more importantly, they had time to dwell on their issues and (hopefully) correct them.
And our first opponent after that break? Chivas USA. Tomorrow. Yeah, it's come up quick, and yeah, it's really sneaking up on us. We're still celebrating three good results in the World Cup for the United States. But our Saturday nights are back, and while it wasn't so long ago that we had RSL matches on them, there's something refreshing about this.
Anyway, Chivas. The team tied for MLS-worst on points, but still seemingly better than last year by a country mile. (Ownership changes, man.)
We'll be without Tony Beltran, who picked up a red card against Portland (sigh). We might be without Ned Grabavoy, who picked up an injury a bit ago. We're obviously still without Alvaro Saborio, Kyle Beckerman, and Nick Rimando. Those things being what they are, we can at least start to look forward.
Rich Balchan could be an option to replace Tony Beltran on the right side, but so too could Chris Wingert — this would leave Abdoulie Mansally on the left side. Either option seems acceptable, but each does provide a different look: the former slightly less attacking than the latter, certainly.
We might even get a chance to see Robbie Findley, the speedster himself. We still haven't found a perfect Sabo-less setup, and maybe we revisit Devon Sandoval in that position. He's showed excellent potential there, even if he struggled (along with the rest of the team) in recent weeks.
Everything else seems normal, and maybe that's weird. But we can't dwell on that too much — we're just glad to be back.