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A shakeup expected at Chivas USA

November 9, 2009 | 11:09 pm

It was a sad view: An empty clubhouse, only one player in the locker room. It was no accident that the weeping player was Yamith Cuesta, the Colombian defender whose foul on Mike Magee inside the box resulted in the converted penalty shot by Landon Donovan for the only score of the game, a brutally intense playoff MLS game in the Home Depot Center on Sunday night.

L.A. Galaxy's 1-0 victory (an aggregate of 3-2 in the two-leg match) gave the team, led by Donovan and David Beckham, a ticket to the Western Conference championship game on Friday (Nov. 13) in Carson. It also left Chivas USA with the sour taste of loss for the fourth straight postseason — it lost each time in the first round.

A cleanup should be coming to the Chivas USA team,
one with the most connections to Mexico in the MLS. The team owners are Mexican and the fans, for the most part, are also Mexican. However, it is perceived and certainly seen, that the coach, Preki Radosavljevic, prefers to play the non Mexican players. For instance, Eduardo Lillingston, the Mexican forward who led the team in goals this season, played only the last 15 minutes of 180 against Galaxy on Sunday.

Along with the unhappy clubhouse, there is uncertainty about the future of so many players, including Claudio Suárez, Lillingston, Mariano Trujillo and Jesús Padilla, all Mexican. Jorge Flores, a promising Mexican American player, should be back for 2010.

— Ricardo López/HOY

Look for the dramatic video footage taken by HOY of the L.A. soccer battle in the Home Depot Center at