Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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

MOST COMMENTED

[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
Rapinoe leads Reign FC to second NWSL Shield    
Seattle Reign FC clinched its second straight NWSL regular-season championship when it defeated the last-place Boston ...
Vancouver Whitecaps end curse with first Canadian title    
Runners-ups five out of the last six seasons, the Vancouver Whitecaps seemed to be cursed in ...
What They're Saying: Wayne Rooney    
"I wasn't worried -- if it was going on for three, four or five games more, ...
Wednesday night: Sounders first MLS team to fall in CCL    
A week after the Seattle Sounders rallied from 1-0 in the 90th minute to beat Olimpia, ...
Retiring Dunivant fine about not making headlines    
Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant, one of just four players to win five or more league titles, ...
Wednesday night: Last-place MLS teams sweep    
Chicago and Colorado, last in the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, both won on Wednesday night ...
USL Roundup: Heath praises Louisville City after friendly    
A Louisville City record crowd of 9,434 and a 3-1 victory by the USL expansion team ...
Mexico calls up Torres for Olympic qualifying camp    
Houston forward Erick "Cubo" Torres is among the players summoned by Mexico for a training camp ...
What They're Saying: Matt Miazga    
"Since I was 13 coming up through this system, the dream for every kid in the ...
U.S. Abroad: Zelalem impresses in Rangers debut    
Gedion Zelalem's tenure at famed Glaswegian club Rangers began on a positive note as the 18-year-old ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives