Thursday, July 31

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: Curtin returns to Chicago

Chivas USA defender Jim Curtin returns to Chicago for the first time as a Chivas USA player this weekend as the Red-and-White face his former team, the Chicago Fire, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT at Toyota Park (HDNet, FSN West, KAZA Azteca 54 & 690 AM in Los Angeles).
Curtin spent seven years of his career playing for the Fire before joining Chivas USA during the off-season.
“I’m excited. I don’t know what to expect, to be honest… It’s going to feel weird walking to that stadium not knowing what kind of reaction you’re going to get from the crowd”, Curtin said.
“It’s going to feel funny to walk on the field and to have a different jersey on, because seven seasons is a long time no matter how you look at it. It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of old friends, familiar faces. I’m excited.”
In the meantime, Curtin tries to relax on the trip with the help of his two reading materials: a copy of Sports Illustrated and a book on how to be a good parent. Curtin had his first child, daughter Ryan Marie, a few months ago.

In Chicago with Galindo and Eskandarian

Chivas USA arrived at Midway Airport on Thursday night and will train Friday at 1 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PT) at Toyota Park. The Red-and-White’s travel roster included forwards Maykel Galindo and Alecko Eskandarian, both recovering from groin surgeries.
“It was very frustrating to be missing so many games but I’m working my way back in… we are starting with baby steps,” said Eskandarian, who has scored once this season against Real Salt Lake in Chivas USA’s Home Opener on April 5th before undergoing surgery in June. “It’s a start, you know, hopefully, I’ll keep working on my touch and my fitness. I’m looking forward to contributing in the second half of the season.”

Matkovich is ready for the task

Chivas USA Assistant Coach Mike Matkovich says he’s ready to take his spot on Chivas USA’s bench Saturday, even though Head Coach Preki won’t be able to join him due to a two-game suspension.
“I don’t think it would make much difference [not to have Preki in the bench] to be honest. He’s going to be able to communicate to us during the game, I don’t think it would be a big deal,” said Matkovich before his departure from LAX.
“We’re in the middle of the playoff hunt so we got to make sure we start on a positive note,” he added.
Preki is serving a two-game suspension following his ejection during the last Honda Super Clásico on July 10th.

First away game for Kennedy

Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is looking forward to the game against Chicago since it could represent his first start on the road.
“It’s a good moment to show what I can do in this league. Obviously, we’re missing a lot of guys and they’re missing some players. We have to go and focus, defensively, and not allow any goals”, stated Kennedy, adding that he doesn’t feel pressure ahead of what could be his third consecutive appearance in the starting line-up.
“I try to remember that I have played many games in the past and I should continue to do what has got me to this point.”

99th game for Mendoza

Chivas USA Original Francisco Mendoza is on his way to making his 99th MLS regular season appearance this Saturday and will probably reach his 100th game against Kansas City next week.
“A hundred games seem like an easy thing to do but it’s been difficult, especially playing for one club only. … But that motivates me to keep going and continue working even harder,” said “Panchito”.

Nagamura welcomes teammates

Chivas USA midfielder Paulo Nagamura joined the rest of his teammates this Thursday at the hotel after missing a few training sessions due to personal reasons. Nagamura didn't play Chivas USA's last game during SuperLiga because of a yellow card accumulation suspension.