March 1, 2007

CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals 2nd Leg - Thursday's games

Both of the Mexican clubs went through last night, Pachuca finished off a limp Marquense in the early match, with Chivas eventually overcoming W Connection. They will face the winners of tonight's quarterfinals.

DC United (USA) v. Olimpia (HON) - 7 p.m. (EST) FSC
1st Leg - 2/21 Olimpia 1-4 DC United

This had to be the biggest surprise of the first legs, not that DC was able to win in Honduras, but the margin of victory. Christian Gomez was en fuego in that first match, scoring one absolute World Class goal.
¡Gomito es el Presidente!

With the three goal cushion, it's a little hard to tell what DCU will do in their first match at Estadio RFK this year. Reporter extraordinnaire Steven Goff seems to think that DC will play their first choice lineup. I wouldn't play all reserves, but I would sit Olsen because of his yellow in the first leg. DC doesn't need any suspensions if they go on to face Chivas.

As for Olimpia, their coach tried to resign after the match last week, but was coaxed into staying. Two of their starters are not making the trip to DC, so it looks like there will be a drastic lineup shake-up, Olimpia is conceding the series, or some combination of the two.

Barring one of the saddest collapses in MLS history, DC should be moving on.

Longshoe: DC 1-1 Olimpia (DC advances 5-2)
El Güero: DC 2-1 Olimpia (DC advances 6-2)
E. Charles Blanco: DC 2-0 (DC advances 6-1)

El Güero: All D.C. United really needs to do is show up. The lead coming into this game is just too much to overcome. This is why I'm mad that Filomeno isn't on D.C. anymore. This game would have been the PERFECT time to get him in and let him show what he can do. Oh
well, maybe one day he'll show up for Jaguares again.

Houston (USA) v. Puntarenas (CRC) - 9 p.m. (EST) FSC
1st Leg - 2/21 Puntarenas 1-0 Houston

Tonight's trophy

Houston was extremely unlucky not to get out of Costa Rica with a draw last week. A deflected goal in the last minute of injury time made for a difficult trip back to the Lone Star State. While Pat Onstad will be missing the match, this guy should see the field at some point:

We'll see if he can carry the team like he did so often last year. They need something up front, the combo of Dalglish and Moreno was pretty dreadful last week. Houston will continue to try to get behind the left side of the Puntarenas team, which gave them some chances.

Puntarenas will be without their starting right midfielder and their top substitute due to visa issues (maybe someone in the State Department is a Dynamo fan). With Houston's strength on the wings, they should have a chance to make this series the closest one of the batch. However, Puntarenas will be getting Michael Barrantes back in the center of midfield, he missed the first match due to a suspension during Central American qualifying.

Don't expect Puntarenas to sit back and play for the 0-0 draw. They play very well on the road, winning five of their last eight on the road, and 45% of their road matches over their last fifty games. They will play to win.

It's a shame this game will be in College Station, instead of Estadio Robertson. Damn you University of Houston for thinking about the welfare of your students and not the Major League Soccer team renting your facility!

Longshoe: Houston 2-0 Puntarenas (Houston advances 2-1)
El Güero: Houston 1-0 Puntarenas (Puntarenas advances on PK's)
E. Charles Blanco: Houston 2-0 (Houston advances 2-1)

El Güero: Yes, you read that right. And no, this isn't some kind of retribution for El Dinamo knocking Chivas USA out of the playoffs last year. I really think that
Puntarenas will advance. Why?

1. A MLS team has NEVER advanced against a Costa Rican team.
2. No Pat Onstad. If it comes down to PKs, this will be the key.

Besides, there has to be some kind of upset, right?

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