Indios face Pachuca in the first leg of the Clausura semifinals. In addition to captivating the US based FMF audience recently, Indios has also used its late season run to develop a genuine defensive option for Bob Bradley and the nation in Marco Vidal. Vidal has openly stated that he would welcome a call up to one of this summer’s tournaments, and earlier in the week I proposed he be part of the Confederations Cup squad. Vidal will face off with American midfielder Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca tonight. Pachuca is the closest thing we have in North America to Barcelona or Manchester United. Under Enrique Meza the club is free flowing and attack minded. The stars of the club like Gimenez, Caballero, Alvarez and Calero are among the most recognizable club footballers in this part of the world. So once again the odds are staked against Indios but I wouldn’t count them out just yet. The first leg airs on Azteca America tonight at 8pm ET
Colin Clarke is getting some heat in Puerto Rico for fielding a second team in this past Sunday’s CFU Championship which the Islanders lost 2-1. Clarke’s logic was that in the middle of the USL-1 campaign, the regulars were needed simply to get the Islanders to the final which carries with it an automatic CONCACAF Champions League birth. Thomas Rongen used the same stratgey in the U-23 Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the US last year and also lost the final.
DC United defeated Red Bull 5-3 last night in a US Open Cup qualifier and now heads to the competition to defend their title. The big star last night, was surprise, Chris Pontius the all everything rookie. The Red Bulls now can focus on CONCACAF Champions LEague play and the MLS season.
Miami FC debuted two celebrated Cuban defectors last night in Reiner Alcantara and Pedro Faife. Both had waited over a month to get clearance to play professionally from the USSF. Despite their best efforts Miami FC dropped its fourth straight match 1-0 in Charleston against the Battery.
Another episode of the Major League Soccer Talk podcast will be released tomorrow afternoon featuring conversations with Martin Rogers from Yahoo! Sports about the summer gauntlet facing the US National Team and with Ryan Knapp the director of public relations for the NPSL about the new season for the league which serves as the 4th tier of American football on the USSF pyramid.