Photo of Craig Waibel from Getty Images
Major League Soccer has been shown up to be a weak footballing league the past few weeks in the CONCACAF Champions League. A combination of fixture congestion and late season playoff pushes have reduced MLS sides ability to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League. In addition, the Purerto Rico Islanders a USL-1 side made up largely of former MLS players and coaches has been one of the best sides in the entire tournament. MLS sides, Chivas USA, DC United and New England showed little fight or interest in the tournament. For DC United it was particularly galling: entering this season DC United had more finals and semifinal appearances in CONCACAF events than the rest of the league combined. But suddenly in 2008, United is just another MLS team in these events losing its first three home matches in history to Mexican or Costa Rican sides within the last 3 months.
But that was before the Houston Dynamo entered the competition thanks to a delay after Hurricane Ike. Dom Kinnear is never going to let his team disgrace itself the way DC United and New England did in their most recent home matches in the competition. Two matches away from home for the Dynamo and two results. Kei Kamara was outstanding up for the Dynamo and Cory Ashe brought a level of energy Pumas could not match on the flank. Bobby Boswell who was scapegoated by the sinking ship at RFK Stadium continued his solid play for the Dynamo with several outstanding defensive plays in the final 30 minutes of the match and Craig Waibel, scored twice…………yes I repeat Craig Waibel scored twice. The Dynamo drew with Pumas 4-4 in Mexico City.
You see the Dynamo who has suffered just as many injuries the last few years as any MLS team doesn’t come into competitions with their excuses already written out and in the coaches back pocket. Unlike their MLS brethren, they play to win, and compete every night. As I’ve said before MLS could take a lesson or two from USL and everyone in American soccer could take a lesson or two from Dom Kinnear and the Dynamo.