CARSON, Calif.—Injuries, illness and a busy schedule meant a mostly reserve lineup for the Los
Angeles Galaxy in their Wednesday night CONCACAF Champions League match—nine of the starters were
under 23, including five rookies.
But that didn't stop the youngsters from crushing the Puerto Rico Islanders 4-0.
Poor Santos and his savage heart... so much passion!Those of you who frequent
this site... hello you three... know that Monday is reserved for our STARTING 11 feature but as
there is an unusual Tuesday fixture this week it's "Buy None - Get Two Free" today. All of the
STARTING 11 you love with a dose of THE MATCHUP you kind of enjoy with none of that pesky AFTER 90
you have to tolerate!
The Dynamo's return to the CONCACAF Champions League begins tonight with their first group stage
match against C.D. FAS. It's the Dynamo's third match ever in El Salvador (0-1-1) and their second
match at the Estadio Cuscatlán ( a1-1 draw vs. Luis Angel Firpo in the 2008-09 CCL).
Just in case you aren't familiar the CCL, here's the basics.
When Eddie Johnson skied the final PK of the US Open Cup final over the bar, it gave Sporting KC
their first trophy under their new name, and the team's first trophy since 2004. Before we continue
on, let's relive that night again with a video that still gives me goosebumps.
Caledonia AIA came to Seattle for their first CONCACAF Champions League match in their history.
If they were expecting a large crowd of cheering supporters that Seattle has become known for they
were in for a surprise. Less than 8,000 fans showed up in Seattle to watch Seattle Sounders FC
start a new CCL campaign.
This is one of those games that is hard to scout. Not many know anything about Caledonia AIA,
those that do work for soccer teams or agencies. The good news is that the Seattle Sounders have
plenty of contacts. They also clearly did their prep. For the fan, this game features an opponent
that tries to bring the ball up the field on the ground and is willing to play a high pace
Scouting Caribbean teams can be a challenge. Outside the two that participate within the
American system (Puerto Rico Islanders, Antigua Barracuda FC) the other leagues aren't available on
television and highlights are hard to find. With the upcoming 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League
opponent being Caledonia AIA the Seattle Sounders are at an advantage because both Ezra Hendrickson
and Kurt Schmid actively scout players from Trinidad & Tobago.
Things are looking up in Dynamo Nation these days. This weekend's win over Toronto FC extended
the Dynamo's winning streak to four matches and has propelled Houston in to second place in the
Eastern Conference, only one point out of first place behind the New York Red Bulls.
That little fact makes the next two weeks a pretty big deal.
The Dynamo today learned their schedule of matches for the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League
Group Stage...and it's not all that good.
I've listed the matches below, along with league matches in italics to easily demonstrate how
rough the travel schedule is going to be on the team. The upside is that despite the fact the two
away matches are sandwiched between league games, those are at least home matches.
Every club is pretty thirsty for an MLS Cup, but the Sounders might be the thirstiest. It's fair to say no club has accomplished more and stands without a Phil Anschutz Trophy. Maybe the Revolution, but New England's nowhere near it right now. The Sounders are in range of the victorious aromas, hence the salivation.
An MLS side had never opened the trap door on a Mexican one in the CCL knockout stages. Before tonight. Seattle completed a Barca-esque comeback on Tigres in the CCL quarters, turning a 2-0 aggregate deficit into a 3-2 win with three magnificent goals in the second half. The Sounders await the winner of the Houston-Santos second leg, which Houston leads 1-0 headed down to Mexico.
Montreal looks to continue their quest for a playoff berth against D.C. United. (Getty
The make or break part of the season is here. At this point teams can earn a lot or nothing at
all. Most teams are hitting that final stretch of games that will either put them in the playoffs
or will put them in a position to have a high draft pick in next January's SuperDraft.
San Jose has the inside track to the Supporters' Shield. (US Presswire)
With the MLS All Star game last night I felt like the league is well past the halfway point to
be able to begin doing a broader look at the league's Supporters' Shield race. I hope to do more
installments of this race as we go along here.
Tomorrow the Portland Timbers take on the Seattle Sounders in what promises to be one of the
premier matches of the regular MLS season. But I don't really need to tell you all this. As a
Portland Timbers fan this stuff is ingrained within you from the very day you decide to done the
green and white.
"And second half action is about to get under way.."SPORTING KC VS.
TORONTO LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET TV: SPORTSNET ONE ----RADIO: THE FAN 590
While we are definitely not implying that any member of Sporting KC is involved with any kind of
doping - someone should really be looking into that Lance Armstrong endorsed stadium of theirs.
The United States pulled off a historic win tonight in Mexico City, winning the first game by the
men's national team at the Azteca Stadium. A goal by Michael Orozco Fiscal in the 79th minute, set
up by a great run from Brek Shea and a back heal from Terrance Boyd gave the US a 1-0 win. As a
whole it wasn't really a game the US deserved as they showed very little going forward for much of
Teams around MLS at the first third of the season were worried about the forward pairing of
Thiery Henry and Kenny Cooper. They were as good as can be. It was a big-small style of pairing
with Henry playing behind Cooper and doing it as well as couple be done. Then emerged Chris
Wondolowski and his duel pairings.
Hey, we made it back. Hope you missed us. That was pretty excruciating, wasn't it? Not knowing
if you had the right opinions about the Chelsea friendly or the All-Star Game? Good thing we're
back to tell you how you should feel about all the Transfer Window Madness and Saturday's win over
the Colorado Rapids.
The ten day game break is officially over! Well, as of tonight it is. Which is nice because,
despite the poor results and general low morale, I still found myself severely missing the Portland
Timbers. It's breaks like that that make me wonder how I ever get through an entire off season.
In any case, today marks the first of two road games: first in Toronto tonight and then this
Sunday in New York against the New York Red Bulls.
Another player who found himself struggling for minutes with the Montreal Impact is on the
Forward Justin Braun was traded to his hometown Real Salt Lake in exchange for a conditional
2014 draft pick Wednesday, getting himself out of a situation that had become increasingly dire
north of the border.
Ok, ok. It may be a bad pun but it makes more sense than the "3 Questions" moniker. Why, you may
Ask? Well, most exchanges are more than 3 questions, and some are one sided only (like today's). To
me, it made more sense to re-name question exchanges rather than using an incorrect title. So, from
now on, my questions exchanges will now be Fireside Chats.
It's a day of non-Sounders soccer, but lots of it as high quality on ESPN's family of stations.
Up next is a 4PM start on ESPN for the United States v Antigua and Barbuda. The USA are clear
favorites as outlined in the SBN/Soccer storystream, the A&B team is made up primarily of players
from a single USL Pro side.
The Dynamo will enter the group stages of the 2012/13 CONCACF Champions League later this year
in Group with Olimpia (Honduras) and FAS (El Salvador). Considering some of the big fish lurking in
the water, this is a pretty favorable draw for the Dynamo. That doesn't mean it'll be easy, but
it's better than ending up against Santos Laguna or Tigres.