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Defending MLS Champ Braces for Hectic 2008
Houston Chronicle, March 26th, 2008 3:30PM

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All eyes will be on the MLS Cup 2007 rematch between the Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution when league play opens this weekend, but the Houston Chronicle's Bernardo Fallas says that Houston could be forgiven for looking beyond Saturday's match-up toward next Wednesday's Champions Cup semifinal first leg against Saprissa of Costa Rica.

Indeed, the latter match has far more at stake, but Houston's players insist they aren't looking beyond a New England team that will be hungry to serve up some payback for those back-to-back MLS Cup final defeats. "[New England is] going to be ready to go," defender Eddie Robinson said at Tuesday's Dynamo media day at Robertson Stadium. "They are going to come out playing with a lot of urgency."

Captain Wade Barrett said the one-match-at-a-time approach is one of the secrets to the team's success. "We don't get too far ahead of ourselves; we don't get overwhelmed," he said. It's a good thing, too, because starting on Saturday, the Dynamo have to play five games in a two-week span. In all, the team will play more than 40 matches in 2008. Added Robinson: "We don't want to come out like we did last year, start [2-5-1] and then find our way to the top. We want to start at the top and stay there this year."

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