Chivas USA is probably going to play a good share of scoreless matches this season. They've added Jimmy Conrad, Heath Pearce, and Zarek Valentin to a back line that was already decent last year. New head coach Robin Fraser is a two-time MLS Defender of the Year, and comes from the Real Salt Lake culture that built its championship winning team from the back.
But Chivas lacks scoring talent. They started Alan Gordon for gosh sake.
So today's preseason match was a good introductory test for DC United as they approach the regular season with their first matches against MLS opponents. With United facing a tough defense but a weak offense, the game ended scoreless.
Since Justin Braun didn't suit up for Chivas, shutting out the Goats isn't that much more of an accomplishment than shutting out UC Santa Barbara. But its another step in the right direction for veteran Pat Onstad and the youthful center back pairing of Dejan Jakovic and Perry Kitchen.
The game was fast-paced and physical. Earning his first action since arriving in California with a minor ankle injury, Dax McCarty was heavily involved in the midfield, as was Branko Boskovic.
Offensively, United seemed to have a greater number of chances, but could not get on the board against Zach Thornton. The Chivas twitter feed mentioned that United was generating some good chances on offense, but was frequently called offside. While my natural instinct is to blame the referees, this could also be a sign that our attackers are still learning each other's playing styles. They're not quite on the same page yet. That's to be expected at this time of year.
They may not have scored any goals, but the good news is that D.C. is still undefeated in the preseason. We'll see if that can continue next week as the team heads back to the east coast to defend its Carolina Challenge Cup title.