March 12, 2008

Cupcake Nation Rejoice!

MLS action kicks off for two teams tonight. The CONCACAF Champions' Cup gets started with DC United traveling to Jamaica to face Harbour View FC and Houston Dynamo visiting Guatemala and CSD Municipal. Our buddies at Center Holds It have nice previews up on both of the games, so there's no need to repeat their work. I'll just get to my general thoughts...

DC definitely got the best draw possible. No offense to our Jamaican friends, but the clubs from their league just aren't at the same level as the Central American clubs. Thinking back to the series from 2005, the score seems much closer than it should've been. I thought it was pretty clear that DCU had a big advantage in general quality.

My main concern going into tonight is that the team hasn't gelled yet. There are potentially six brand new starters (including Santino Quaranta, who's been away for a while in exile), and the chemistry might struggle. I could see it being one of those games full of missed passes, mistimed runs, and general miscommunication. Hopefully, it's just not enough to threaten the overall result. My gut tells me DC 2-1.

Houston is the better team in their series, but won't be at full strength and will face a tough environment. 2 guys are away with the Olympic team, and Brad Davis is injured. The defense looked pretty shaky in the Pan-Pacific tourney, especially with everyone's favorite blogger Bobby Boswell losing his marks again. He really, REALLY struggled with that late last season with DC, and it looked to be continuing in Hawaii with the Dynamo. That problem has to get solved quickly, because Municipal will exploit it. I'm expecting a fiery, bitchy game with lots of confrontations and lots of arguing with a 1-1 final score.

The Nation will be watching from Manuel's Tavern in the ATL tonight, stop by for a beer or just to yell at us...

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