Sadly, better than the Galaxy != good

Let's pretend for the sake of argument that Chivas USA locks down Kljestan and Bornstein to the kind of long-term deals that allowed Eddie Pope to spend his entire career in MLS. Because if either one, especially Kljestan, goes all Brad Guzan on them, it's straight into the crater.

If they do sign Kljestan to such a deal, then Sacha can't ever go on the Internet again, or listen to Phox Phootball Phone-In, what with all the people screaming that he needs to go to Europe in order to prove himself as a player. On the upside, he'll be a perennial MVP candidate. He and Bornstein will miss lots of games because of callups, though, so unless some sort of team is built around them, it's disappointing early tournament eliminations for years to come.

Second order of business is to remember how to draft...although the supplemental draft and developmental picks have been ridiculously productive for an MLS team, relying on those avenues is a recipe for long-term disaster. They only had one pick last year - Keith Savage - and he actually made the roster. That's a success rate in keeping with the team's tradition, but one pick a year is no way to build a club.

Third order of business is to bring in veterans who actually contribute. If Roberto Nurse or Dejair were even so-so MLS players, CUSA is probably hosting a semifinal, maybe a final. I think next year they climb out of the hole Amado Guevara dug for them, but they really can't afford to bring in another stiff. When Mo Johnston calls to offer Carlos Ruiz in exchange for the DP pick, just let the machine pick up.

But even the lower-level acquisitions blew up in their faces. Preki brought in a bunch of injury-prone guys, then blamed injuries for slowing down the season. People expected fifteen games out of Eskandarian? Really? There's bad luck, and then there's "Hm, maybe Toronto and Salt Lake are dumping these guys for a reason."

Fourth order of business...look, the only injury that mattered was Galindo's. He needs to come back, otherwise, they continue to start Hospital Harris and his amazing two goals a year. That leads to panic moves, and this isn't a team that does panic moves well.

The other injuries...Claudio Suarez and Jesse Marsch are old. They're not going to get better, they're going to get worse, and they were pretty much relying on Jedi mind tricks to stop guys already. Keep them around as de facto coaches, but put them on the field only in emergencies.

Overall, this is right now a team that is exactly what they seem - roughly .500, roughly 0 goal differential. Because they're significantly better than their roommates, they feel they don't need to improve...just like their roommates don't feel the need to improve becaus they're much more popular. What was supposed to be a fierce rivalry has become a negative feedback loop.

Of course, I have suggestions to solve that problem, too. Go east, or north, young men. Chivas USA delenda est.