Watered-down Chivas has no sympathy for TFC

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:02 AM ET

Don't look for Chivas USA to be crying over the laments of Toronto FC about losing nine starters to international duty before its Major League Soccer game at BMO Field today.

The California side is playing its fourth game in 10 days. As well, it is without Sacha Kljestan (U.S.) and Shavar Thomas (Jamaica), who will be at World Cup qualifiers.

Chivas also will be without five other players -- Jeese March, Carey Talley, Raphael Wicky, Alex Zotinca and Maykel Gallindo -- because of various injuries.

To add to the woes of Chivas coach Preki, both Atiba Harris and Sacha Kljestan will sit out today because of an accumulation of yellows cards from previous matches.

In the first game of this home-and-away series last Saturday, Chivas won 2-1 after scoring a goal in the final seconds of added time.

At least one starting Reds player -- defender Marco Velez -- said he isn't so sure that his side is at a disadvantage today.

"I think if we play as a team and support one another out there, we can come off the pitch with a good result," Velez said.

What gives Velez such confidence is that earlier this season, when TFC was down five starters, the team rallied for a 1-0 result on the road against the Colorado Rapids. "If the young players give everything they have like they did in Colorado I have no doubt we will prevail," he said.

One thing Velez and his teammates must do is stop former TFC forward Alecko Eskandarian, who scored one of the Chivas goals last week.

Eskandarian said he is way past thinking of revenge against Toronto FC for sending him out of town last year.

"I don't even think about Toronto being my former team," he said.

And he isn't jumping for joy that the Reds are without so many starters.

"They are going to be missing some starters but so are we," Eskandarian said. "We are (in Toronto) to get three more points to help our playoff run."

Preki, like Toronto FC coach John Carver, has had a difficult time putting two or more games together with the same roster of players.

"That has been our biggest problem all year," he said. "And it will be the same (today) at BMO."

Some help did arrive yesterday for TFC with Vancouver Whitecaps defender Diaz Kambere joining the squad for today's game.

The league also granted TFC permission to add Tim Regan, a former MLS player and currently chief scout for Toronto, to the roster.


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