Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Houston deals with congested schedule
by Ridge Mahoney, August 19th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] When it comes to playing international games in the final one-third of the MLS season, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear is as ambitious as he is realistic.

"We're used to it now, so we don't complain, we just shrug our shoulders," said Kinner in regards to the six games in the next two months Houston will play in Group A of the Concacaf Champions League, which commences for the Dynamo Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel) at Robertson Stadium.

"Now you just have to hope the places you go to aren't too bad. Luckily, we escaped going to Honduras, because that place is kind of crazy right now. We have to go to Panama (Arabe Unido), Pachuca (Mexico), and El Salvador, but I don't think our group is as tough as D.C.'s , that's for sure."

(Speaking of Honduras, that's where D.C. opened its CCL schedule Tuesday night, conceding two late goals - including a penalty kick -- in a 3-1 loss to Marathon in San Pedro Sula.)

Metapan isn't expected to produce the toughest challenge, yet it is the defending Salvadoran champion and has a few Salvadoran national-team players, including Alexander Escobar, who played two of three matches this summer in the Gold Cup.

"We have some video on them from when they played Firpo last year," said Kinnear to mlsnet.com. "This is a good team with a lot of national team players. These guys were the champs of El Salvador and for them to come out on top of Firpo, we know they are going to be a difficult team."

Metapan came to the United States last year for a chilly preseason friendly in Columbus. In temperatures just above freezing, the eventual MLS champion beat the Salvadorans, 1-0.

In 19 competitive matches against foreign teams it has played since 2007 in SuperLiga and the Concacaf club competitions, Houston has won eight, lost five, and tied six in regulation and overtime. It also lost the 2007 SuperLiga final on penalties to Pachuca, 4-3, after a 2-2 tie.

It played Luis Angel Firpo, the top Salvadoran club, in the inaugural edition of the CCL last year and came away with four points by tying, 1-1, on the road and winning, 1-0, at Robertson in a game postponed until late November because of Hurricane Ike.

The experience gained from trips to Mexico and Central America and a genuine commitment to international competitions deals Houston a relatively strong hand despite the added burdens of travel, fatigue and possible injuries.

"When you start playing in the international tournaments, is that you have to keep your head a little bit more," said midfielder Brad Davis to mlsnet.com. "The games definitely get a little bit more physical."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying    
"I think the strict lesson is, any time you bring in a player and there's going ...
U.S. Paralympic national team roster    
[OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER CAMP] U.S. Paralympic national team head coach Stuart Sharp named a 17-player roster ...
Red Bulls and Dynamo struggle to rediscover 2013 form    
[MLS: Week 8] A week after finally picking up its first win, the New York Red ...
Brilliant move by young Belgian    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Theo Bongonda, an 18-year-old who plays for Zulte Waregem, scored after what we'll ...
Lahm: 'Heart and passion' will decide Real-Bayern semi    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] For the second time in three seasons, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid meet ...
Seattle and Washington are doormats no more    
[NWSL: Week 3] The NWSL's midweek slate of games begins Wednesday when Seattle, a 3-0 winner ...
Cruz Azul keeper Corona gets reprieve    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona, Mexico's likely No. 1 keeper for the World ...
Shalrie Joseph rejoins the Revolution    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The New England Revolution claimed midfielder Shalrie Joseph, a four-time MLS Best XI selection ...
Chelsea grinds out scoreless draw in Madrid    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Defense-minded Chelsea got the result it was looking for, settling for a 0-0 ...
Beasley's injury is not serious    
[USA MEN] The U.S. national team coaching staff breathed a sigh of relief when it got ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives