Nothing like a healthy hatred for Cuauhtemoc Blanco to bring out the Chivas USA fans.
A crowd in the low 20,000 range is expected tonight, which would be the biggest crowd for Chivas USA so far this year.
Brad Guzan has returned in goal for Chivas USA (4-6-2) from international duty, relegating backup Dan Kennedy to the bench.
The defense sees the return of Claudio Suarez in favor of Jim Curtin partnering Loyola Marymount product Bobby Burling in the middle, while Cary Talley and Francisco Mendoza retain their full back slots. Jonathan Bornstein, who started the last game as a forward before being substituted at half time, apparently can’t win back his left back spot and is on the bench, too.
In midfield, former Swiss international Raphael Wicky is preferred to Atiba Harris in midfield, while Sacha Kljesten (who also will join up with the U.S. team), Jesse Marsch and Paulo Nagamura start as usual.
Up front it’s Ante Razov and Justin Braun, who impressed Preki in last week’s loss to Real Salt Lake.
Jorge Flores and Shavar Thomas are also on the bench.
Chicago (6-4-1) starts Chad Barrett and Chris Rolfe up front, both of whom we learned earlier today, are in the U.S. squad for the Barbados game this weekend.
John Thorrington, who grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and has also been called in, starts in midfield alongside Blanco, Logan Pause and Justin Mapp.
The defenders: Brandon “I’ll take a vowel for $500 please, Alex” Prideaux, C.J. Brown, Bakery Soumare and Diego Gutierrez man the back line in front of goalkeeper Jon Busch.
The game, in case you forget, is on ESPN2.