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

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
What They're Saying: Louis van Gaal    
"[I] have transformed the Dutch school from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 and, depending on the opponent, it ...
A costly miss from two yards out    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Robert Herrera of Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting managed to hit the ...
Seattle clinches regular-season title    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Seattle Reign FC clinched the 2014 NWSL regular-season title with four games ...
D.C. United and New England go for three    
[MLS: Wednesday] D.C. United confirmed its credentials and New England broke an eight-game losing streak in ...
Liverpool rallies to win clash of EPL's top teams    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Stevan Jovetic twice scored to put Manchester City ahead, but Liverpool got goals from ...
2014 PDL All-League Team    
[AWARDS] The Michigan Bucks and FC Tucson led all teams with two selections apiece on the ...
Grondona dies after 35 years as Argentine boss    
[OBITUARY] Julio Grondona, FIFA senior vice president, died on Wednesday after being admitted to a Buenos ...
Philly acquisition of Mbolhi 'no-brainer'    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The Philadelphia Union already has Zac MacMath, who at the age of 22 is ...
Montreal dismisses De Santis as sporting director    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Halfway through what is shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in ...
Rubin likes FC Utrecht's ambitions    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Rubio Rubin had to wait until he turned 18 in March to be eligible ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives