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Houston Is in Mexico

The MLS season openers are only a few days away, but the most important match will take place tonight when Houston faces Pachuca in Mexico in the second leg of their Champions' Cup semifinals. MLS already missed a wonderful opportunity to send a club to the finals (and keep alive the hope for a first-ever MLS berth in the Club World Cup in December) when D.C. United surrendered an early lead and lost at Chivas on Tuesday.

While United entered that match even on aggregate, the Dynamo arrives in Mexico with a two-goal advantage. If they can maintain that overall lead by halftime, they've got a shot. Here is where they will be playing.

The match can be seen live at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Fox Soccer Channel. As many of you have learned in excruciating fashion, it's sometimes best to turn off the audio (although I do like Christopher Sullivan on color commentary).

Will Houston pull it off? Or will they get buried on the road?

Your thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  April 5, 2007; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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i acutally kind of enjoy hearing max bretos and christopher sullivan do the games on fox soccer channel (they did chivas v dc the other night)

its another guy on that network - christian miles - who drives me insane and forces me to turn down the volume

Posted by: brucio | April 5, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm pulling for our MLS bretheren tonight. Hopefully they'll have a full complement of starting players, I know DeRo and Ching have been carrying little tweaks for a while.

2-1, Pachuca wins, Houston advances.

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If DC didnt win it, I dont care who does.

Posted by: Darth Hater | April 5, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Max Bretos is competent and I often enjoy his style; not always. I think Sullivan is very good at enhancing my understanding of the game. Miles has been dreadful in this tournament.

I'd like to see Houston go through, which I think they will do despite a 1-0 loss.

Posted by: JkR | April 5, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

This is going to be a fun game. Pachuca's too good for Dynamo to bunker and squeek out a 0-0 or a 1-0 result. My guess is at least 3 goals in this whether it's 2-1 Pachuca or 3-0 Pachuca, that will make all the difference.

I say that Dynamo squeeze a goal in, lose 2-1, and go through.

Posted by: Alex | April 5, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I wish the FSC announcers/commentators were at the games.

Posted by: sitruc | April 5, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Bretos really annoyed me the other night with his ridiculous matter-of-fact predictions during the game. With DC up 1-0 and the first half winding down, he said something like (paraphrasing) it looks like Chivas won't be making the final. And equally frustratingly reversed his analysis with a good 15 minutes left in the second half. He clearly knows (or should know) better but I suppose has nothing better to fill the space with.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 5, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

...oh and Sullivan says "Christian Moreno" at least once a match.

Posted by: bbarrie | April 5, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Since the stadium picture link shows that they don't have lines or goals I'll predict a 0-0 game.

Anyone know if Fins, Ugly Mug or Trusty's will be showing the game tonight?

This dang cable losing MLB rights to Direct TV is filling all the local spots up with baseball fans...ewwww

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 5, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Pachuca is playing very well and won 5-0 on the road last Saturday versus San Luis. I'm pulling for Houston to go through but they face an extremely good, and in-form, side tonight.

Sadly, I see a 4-0 whupping happening tonight. Eddie Robinson will pick up a card within 20 minutes and see his 2nd yellow around the 65th minute.

Posted by: MLS Fan | April 5, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Christian Miles is a waste of sound.

Posted by: Miles Christian | April 5, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Max Bretos has got to be one of the most irritating soccer broadcastor on the air right now. He makes the most appalling inept or irrelevant statements about the game at hand that you actually want to turn off the broadcast.

It was only Chris Sullivan that kept me from at least turning the audio completely off.

Posted by: nick | April 5, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'll be rooting for Houston tonight. But I think they are going to get smoked. Prediction: 4-0 to Pachuca.

Posted by: PJohnson | April 5, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Houston goes through to the final vs. Chivas. Not sure what happens then, but I hope the Dynamo can pull it off. It would be very good for them and good for MLS as well. Its been nice to see many Houston and DC fans supporting each other's clubs in the CCC. As far as the league goes, that's different, both teams want to win. But even in doing that, there is still respect. IMO that's because of the passionate support of the fans.

Posted by: Dan | April 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Fans of any MLS team should want Houston to win this series. Go Houston Go!!!

Posted by: 12th man | April 5, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Sullivan truly knows soccer which is way more than one can say for many color guys (in all sports) a little in love with the chivas though but its nice to listen to a guy that has the knowledge enough to intelligently critic a game

Posted by: Matt Y | April 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

When houston wins let's all e-mail luis bueno and laugh

Posted by: matt y | April 5, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Houston fan here - they are a reslient and tough bunch that just gets results when they need them. Not always pretty but can be gritty. It would not surprise if this goes to extra time however. Wild cards tonight are the Canadian ref (Navarro - all Concacaf refs are wildcards south of the border), altitude, and a few depth concerns for Dynamo. I would not expect them to bunker in for 90; that's just not Kinnear's style unless he goes a man down and without possession at altitude they are going to get gassed quicker.

Regarding FSC coverage, Christian Miles has been horrid, like he's reading from a soccer-themed Mad-lib book (anyone else remember those?) misusing words and mispronouncing them with a foreign tone. I think Bretos' enthusiasm is genuine so I can live with some silliness but he is far better when they actually send him to the game. Christopher Sullivan is fine except for his gross overuse of the word "clairvoyant". Every subtle touch is "clairvoyant" - I half-expect spirits to rise out of the box and head a ball in.

Posted by: JJ | April 5, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Houston is in Mexico now?! Crap! First FIFA put Israel in Europe, then they put Australia in Asia. Now this! I say it's time for another war. Remember the Alamo!

Posted by: Sepp's Atlas | April 5, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

i don't get all the people here saying houston is going to get smoked just matter-of-factly

they did win at home, 2-0, while dominating the second half. they are the mls cup champions, and as much as i hate to say this as a united fan, from august on houston was the best team in mls.

and to boot, they have all their pieces back from last season, while united was retooling, and lost 2-1 to a chivas team i still feel is better than pachuca.

i say 1-1, houston goes through

Posted by: cska delmarva | April 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Houston will advance.

As long as Max isn't doing LA Galaxy games I can stand him. But his kiss-up homerism on their games can also be amusing since it's like listening to alternate reality.

Posted by: Glenn | April 5, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I keep the sound on when Christian Miles is doing play by play is to count how many stupid metaphors he uses. I usually loose track in the hundreds (before the half).

Maybe we should institute a designated announcer rule and import some Brits to help our dismal FSC line up.

Posted by: DCU Fan | April 5, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the crap FSC announcers...

I was particularly bemused when a pass during last night's game was described as "eloquent".

Personally I'd be very disturbed if my feet were well-spoken.

That and the dreadful attempts at "authentic" Spanish pronunciation. Always makes me think of...

Anyone remember when Jimmy Smits hosted Saturday Night Live back during the LA Law days? They had a skit in an office setting where everyone over-pronounced different names.

"Did anyone see the news last night? What's up with Neeeecarawwwwwgwwwwwwah?"

"Hey, for lunch I was thinking of having a Chimmmmeeeechawwwwwnguh!"

Posted by: Shmoo | April 5, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Houston just got to Pachuca, which is at over 8000 ft in elevation (a mile and a half up), I cannot see them keeping things together in the second half. DC had a solid approach - spend two weeks at 5000 ft Guadalajara to prep. I just think that it is going to much. A mile and a half is WAY up there.

Posted by: nh | April 5, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

uck-Fe oustan-He
There is only ONE team in MLS that matters, the rest are merely there for United to toy with.

Posted by: AlecW81 | April 5, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

We need Johny Most on the radio so we can turn off the sound.

Posted by: Hacksaw | April 5, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Bretos is awful whenever LA is mentioned. I think he's the only person in the world that believes everything Alexi Lalas says. At least when he's covering someone else, he refers to everyone by their last names.

Sullivan knows the game, but tries to get too high-minded for his own good. I think he's read "Soccer in Sun and Shadow" about 200 too many times. There are certain adjectives that just don't work in announcing soccer, and he uses them all.

I should note that I don't really like many announcers. I suppose I should be happy that FSC does not employ Billy Packer.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | April 5, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

We all should be rooting for Houston to advance and beat Chivas.

Forget the Warm Fuzzy, Sing Kumbaya to the tune of the new MLS Anthem, stuff for a moment.

For purely DC United-centric reasons we need Houston to go to Japan because since Chivas already qualified for Copa Sudamericana that means we'd be highly likely to get an invitation.

Right Steve?

Posted by: Hey | April 5, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

In other words Houston winning CONCACAF = DC United going to Copa Sudamerica this year.

Posted by: Hey | April 5, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Pachuca is so tough at home, and have so many good and experienced foreign players. 3-1 Pachuca, and Calero makes the difference in pk's to give Pachuca the victory...

Posted by: Nick | April 5, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Pachuca is the better team and deserves to move on. The officiating did not cost the Dynamo. If anything, the calls were in favor of Houston. It was a tough game and the better team got the result. I just wish Pachuca completely showed up for the first match so there was no doubt.

Posted by: sitruc | April 6, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse


All Mexican final. Yeah, I just wished the Mexican clubs actually start taking the MLS teams more seriously. The quality in the teams here is greatly improving year in and year out, and given the last results bewteen the US and Mexico on the Natl' team level, its just moronic for Mexican teams to think they can just tunr it on and off when they want to.

Posted by: Vic | April 6, 2007 5:31 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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