Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
SuperLiga spices up MLS calendar
by Ridge Mahoney, July 14th, 2010 2:15AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  mexico, mls


[SUPERLIGA] In the fourth season of SuperLiga, which annually matches up the some of the best from MLS and the Mexican League, the marketing concept of bundling will be tested. Fans wishing to see Manchester United’s training session at Toyota Park on Wednesday prior to a Group B match between Chicago and Morelia can only do so with a SuperLiga ticket. United trains at 4 p.m. local (CT), which is 4 ½ hours prior to the Fire-Morelia kickoff and offers plenty of time in-between games for sales of merchandise, concessions, etc.

During that window between games, New England and UNAM Pumas kick off SuperLiga play at Gillette Stadium (8 p.m. ET, TeleFutura). The Chicago-Morelia game (9:30 ET, Galavision) will get underway before the other game is concluded. (United began its U.S. tour with a few training sessions in Chicago before it opens a four-match tour of North America Friday in Toronto against Glasgow Celtic.)

More than a half-dozen foreign teams will be touring the U.S. during SuperLiga, which will again involve four teams from each league split into two groups. Chicago and Morelia are joined in Group B by New England and UNAM (Pumas); Group A consists of MLS representatives Houston and Chivas USA, along with Pachuca and Puebla.

On Thursday, Houston hosts Pachuca (8 p.m. ET, TeleFutura) at Robertson Stadium and Chivas USA plays Puebla (10:30 ET, Galavision) at Home Depot Center. On the weekend, the MLS teams and Mexican teams play each other in doubleheaders, with the Group B games at Toyota Park on Saturday and Group A action staged at Robertson on Sunday. Group play concludes next week, with the semifinals to be played in early August, sites and dates to be determined.

Teams qualifying for the Concacaf Champions’ League, which begins in August, aren’t eligible to play in SuperLiga. MLS representatives are determined by final placing, the Mexican teams are invited. The tournament is a joint venture between the MLS and its marketing offshoot, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), and the Mexican league.

Chicago and New England, frequent opponents in past MLS playoff series, added a SuperLiga semifinal to their shared history last season. The Fire beat the Revs, 2-1, at Gillette Stadium to reach the final, which it hosted and lost to UANL Tigres.

“The final was pretty good,” said Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, a big fan of the tournament. “I thought Chicago was a little bit unlucky. They came out and played pretty well, scored a good goal. The second half all Tigres did was sit back. All three SuperLiga finals have come down to penalty kicks, too, so that shows there’s not much between the teams.”

Pachuca beat the Galaxy at HDC in 2007 (1-1, 4-3 on penalties), New England topped Houston at Gillette Stadium in 2008 (2-2, 6-5), and last year Tigres topped the Fire (1-1, 4-3) in front of a sellout crowd of 20,000 at Toyota Park.

Average attendance for the 2009 tournament was 9,514, a steep drop from the 16,483 average it compiled in 2007. Aside from the final, the largest crowd last year came out for the Chivas USA-UNAL match at HDC (11,197). SuperLiga matches averaged 13,026 in 2008.

This year’s group breakdown matches up Houston and Pachuca, which have met six times in the SuperLiga and Concacaf Champions’ League the past three years. Pachuca, which leads the series 3-2-1, is a team long admired by Kinnear. “I just like the way they play,” he said. ‘They like to attack and move the ball and keep it on the ground, and they always seem to have a bunch of good players. These teams and this tournament are a good way for our players to test themselves.”

Pachuca now has three Americans. Herculez Gomez, who scored 10 league goals for Puebla last season to earn a place on the U.S. World Cup roster, arrived in the offseason, as did Texas product Marco Antonio Vidal, from relegated Indiios. And Pachuca has retained the services of another U.S. World Cup player, midfielder Jose Francisco Torres.

Former Mexican international Tomas Boy coaches Morelia, and ex-Chivas USA forward Francisco Palencia is with UNAM, along with three members of Mexico’s World Cup team: Efrain Juarez, Israel Castro, and Pablo Barrera.

Recently signed Venezuelan international Giancarlo Maldonado has been named to the Chivas USA roster for the tournament. Houston shook up its roster this week by releasing Mexican striker Luis Angel Landin, and signing Ghanaian midfielder Anthony Obodai.

No comments yet.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Georgia teen Reuben Nsemoh    
"My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me. I wasn't perfect, ...
U.S. Abroad: Pulisic rescues Borussia Dortmund    
Christian Pulisic came off the bench to set up one goal and score the tying goal ...
Lauren Holiday recovering after successful surgery    
Former U.S. national team star Lauren Holiday is recovering after having successful surgery at Duke University ...
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives