Only 15 days until First Kick, but there's still a couple of preseason matches left to go before the Colorado Rapids are ready for that first match against FC Dallas. Their first of two remaining preseason matches will come tonight against Chivas USA as the two teams face off in Las Vegas.
El Chelis has certainly done... well, something to this Chivas USA team, but it's going to be hard to determine exactly what it is for a while. Going into the season, most of the names we all recognized from last years team, like Casey Townsend, James Riley, etc. are gone. For the most part, they were sold off for a bag of balls, as well. (I'm still rather sad that the Rapids didn't jump on Townsend considering they were essentially asking for a hug and a smile for him.)
Colorado had quite an off-season talent dump themselves, but they built the team up with plenty of youthful depth to replace all of the guys who were removed. In Chivas' case, they still seem to be several player acquisitions away from having a full team. With two weeks until first kick and a batch of trialists likely to get signed simply because the team will probably need them, that's probably a bad sign. But hey, we're not ones to question Chelis over here.
It will be interesting to note who is on the field for Chivas, though. As Chelis said, "The 11 we use on Friday will be the most important players for Chivas this season."
I doubt Oscar Pareja will have quite as much verve when it comes to the 11 guys he puts on the field for this match, especially considering his insistence that he does not have a set starting XI in his mind at all this year. Expect a lot of subs and a lot of youth on the field for Pareja's side as they tune up and prepare -- also watch for Edson Buddle, who might get his first ever minutes as a Rapid, preseason or otherwise.
The match will kick off at 8:30 p.m.