Archive for August, 2009

Houston Dynamo/Arabe Unido – A Step Backward for CONCACAF

Posted in Dynamo with tags , , , , on August 28, 2009 by geojock
(concacaf, 09)

(concacaf, 09)

I have always been a fan of international competitions like CONCACAF and Superliga.  The games give the fan a chance to see new teams from other leagues.  It’s an opportunity to compare your team to teams from other countries.  It is something unique in American sports.  That being said, the game I watched between the Houston Dynamo and Arabe Unido was ridiculous.  There is bad officiating, then there is something on a whole other level.  In Panama on Wednesday night it was as bad as I have ever seen.

If you watched the game, you don’t need me to tell you about the officiating.  Heck, just look at the box score.  11 yellow cards, 5 ejections.  Three cards were handed out in the first 11 minutes.  Arabe Unido came out with aggressive tackles from all angles and ridiculous dives when challenged.

Corey Ashe was ejected for something that no one saw and it took 5 minutes to figure it out.  Stuart Holden was booked twice within 30 seconds for dissent and ejected.  That was a first for me.  Not to mention he had the captain’s armband which makes the dissent call even more interesting.  Andrew Hanault was given his second yellow on a play that wasn’t even a foul more-less as card.

Bottom line; the game was a circus, was very disheartening, and quite a turnoff.

Interesting enough, the referee Neal Brizan was officiating his fourth Dynamo game in two years.  I don’t recall him being bad previously, but he was horrible on Wednesday night.  He does seem to be a little trigger happy, averaging almost 7 yellows a game and 7 ejections in his last two matches.

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Thumbs Up for Landin

Posted in Dynamo with tags , , on August 21, 2009 by geojock
nbrooks 2009

Rock on! (nbrooks, 2009)

The Houston Dynamo finally got their man.  On their third try, the Houston Dynamo signed Mexican forward Luis Angel Landín as the club’s first designated player.  The move was made easier thanks to Landin’s lack off recent success and playing time at Cruz Azul.

What does this mean for the Dynamo and MLS?

The Dynamo already share the league’s best record and #1 defense.  Assuming they gel, the addition of a quality forward next to Brian Ching adds some great depth and firepower.

Speaking of gelling, Landin has been accused of having an ego, yet Dom Kinnear really likes this kid.  We will see if he can work his magic.

A lot of people are getting worked up about his DP tag, but this is misleading because he is on loan.  Financials have not been disclosed, but we know that the DP money is a mix of the loan and salary.  So it’s not like the kid is getting $1 million from the Dynamo, he’s just getting what he got in Cruz Azul.

But regardless, why does he have to be a world class player (or washed up world class player) to be a DP?  The Dynamo have a DP spot that they have never used, so why no use it on a young guy that they like.  So what if he is not the class of other DPs in the league.  Dynamo have always said they wanted a DP on their own terms.

It’s simple, the Dynamo are a better team with Landin than without.  The fact is, the Dynamo don’t need (or want) a Beckham or Lumberg or Blanco.  They don’t need a star they just need another forward and they got one.  If the Dynamo win the MLS Cup, does it matter if they win it with Landin or Kaka?

MLS on National TV

Posted in Dynamo, US Soccer with tags , on August 16, 2009 by geojock

So I summarized all MLS games on ‘National TV’.  This includes ESPN, Fox Soccer, and TeleFutura.

NAME National TV Games Media Market Rank
Chicago Fire 15 3
LA Galaxy 15 2
New York Red Bulls 13 1
D.C. United 12 7
Houston Dynamo 12 11
Chivas USA 11 2
Columbus Crew 10 34
San Jose Earthquakes 8 4
FC Dallas 7 6
Seattle Sounders FC 7 13
Colorado Rapids 6 18
Kansas City Wizards 6 27
New England Revolution 6 8
Real Salt Lake 2 30

You can draw you own conclusions, but it looks like MLS has a decent formula of team quality and market size.  Hate to see a team like NYRB get 13 games, but hey, they are in New York.

Source:

MLS TV Games

TV Markets

Win the crowd, Win the game.

Posted in US Soccer with tags , , , , on August 12, 2009 by geojock

It is game day folks. USA vs Mexico. 3PM CST on Mun2.

There has been talk about the altitude, the smog, and the new found youth of Mexico. I want to talk about he fans at Azteca. Everyone knows how they can make the game tough for opponents.

Mexican fans, however, have no problem expressing their displeasure with their home side. The key for the USA is to make Mexico look bad for their fans. That doesn’t necessarily mean scoring early goals, but ball control. Not easy to do versus Mexico.

The Gold Cup win eased up a little pressure from Mexico, but if Mexico looks bad early, the fans could change just as they did in 1997. Nothing helps more than 105k fans booing the home team. How about Mexicans ‘ole’ing for the USA? It’s happened before and the USA got away with their only point ever that day.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Posted in Dynamo with tags , , , , on August 8, 2009 by geojock

After watching parts of the Superliga final this week, it got me thinking about the Houston Dynamo losing in the final in 2008. Then I realized the entire 2008 Dynamo season was all about highs and lows.
Dynamo_Pachuca

In 2008 the Dynamo:

-Advanced to the final of the Pan Pacific Championship –but lost to Gamba Osaka.

-Advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup – but lost to Saprissa.

-Advanced to the final of Superliga by beating rival Pachuca- but lost to New England (PKs).

-Became on of the first MLS team ever to get a point in Mexico City with a 4-4 thriller against Pumas-but lost to Pumas at home.

-Advanced to the quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League-but failed to win group.

-Won the MLS Western Conference-but fell 6 point shy of the hardware (Supporters Shield).

-Won the MLS reserve title- but MLS promptly canceled the reserve league.

-Hosted a playoff game in front of 30,000+ people for the 3rd straight time – but lost to New York Red Bulls.

-Played an unprecedented 56 games in 2008 (not including reserve games) – but failed to come home with any hardware.

What will 2009 hold? The Dynamo have already lost after advancing to knockout stages of both tournaments this year. Lets hope the MLS playoffs are different. Oh, and how bout winning that supporters shield as well as beating Pachuca and wining the Champions League group??

Pachuca Qualifies for Group Stage in a BIG Way

Posted in Dynamo with tags , , , , on August 5, 2009 by geojock

pachuca

Pachuca has advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League with a 7 – 1 road win at Estadio Las Flores in Jalapa, Guatemala. Pachuca wins on a 10-1 aggregate.  I caught some of the game and Jalapa showed a ton of effort and energy for a team that was completely outmatch. Pachuca, however, showed us again, why they have been the most successful team in Mexico recently.

The win places Pachuca in Group A which includes the Houston Dynamo. The two teams have matched up three times in the past three years for a total of 4 games. Only D.C. United has faced a Mexican team (Chivas) more times (plus 9 extra years).
Here’s the history:

03/15/07 – CONCACAF Champions Cup – Dynamo Win First Leg
Recap
Video

04/05/07 – CONCACAF Champions Cup – Pachuca wins in extra time.
Recap
Video

08/14/07 -Superliga- Dynamo go down in PKs
Recap
Video

07/29/08 – Superliga – Dynamo win outright for the first time
Recap
Video

Mark you calendars.
09/16 – Wednesday at Estadio Hidalgo,
09/30 – Wednesday at home