[CLUB WORLD CUP] The FIFA Club World Cup, back in Abu Dhabi for a second year, has an American angle, as Mexico's Pachuca, the Concacaf representative, has three Americans on its team: U.S. World Cup players Jose Francisco Torres and Herculez Gomez and Texan Marco Antonio Vidal.
Torres played in all three games for Pachuca when it finished fourth at the 2008 world championship in Japan. Gomez signed with Pachuca after sharing the Mexican scoring title last spring at Puebla. Vidal is on loan from Indios, the second division team based in Juarez.
The Mexican press recently reported that Torres and Gomez might join MLS clubs in 2011, but Torres denied the stories.
Torres, who is in his fifth season at Pachuca, started 11 of 19 league games this fall. All of Gomez's 14 appearances were off the bench. Vidal started seven games.
Pachuca opens play against African champion Tout Puissant Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday.
The tournament starts on Wednesday when the UAE's Al-Wahda faces Hekari United of Papua New Guinea, the Oceania champion, in a first-round match.
The format is designed to give the European champion (Inter Milan) and South American champion (Internacional of Brazil) byes into the semifinals to minimize their time away from domestic duties.
South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, the Asian champion, completes the seven-team field.
Wednesday, Dec. 8
Game 1: Al-Wahda vs. Hekari United
Friday, Dec. 10
Game 2: TP Mazembe Englebert vs. Pachuca
Saturday, Dec. 11
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma
Tuesday, Dec. 14
Game 4: Game 2 winner vs. Internacional
Wednesday, Dec. 15
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Inter Milan
Fifth-place game: Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser
Saturday, Dec. 11
Third-place game: Game 4 loser vs. Game 5 loser
Championship game: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner