Familar Foes: Superliga Semifinal Preview

For the fourth time in sixteen months, Houston and Pachuca will face off in the knock out stages of a major international competitions. Last year this same staged Pachuca used dogged determination and some controversial officiating to advance after winning a penalty kick shootout. This year, Houston will be without leading tournament goal scorer Stuart Holden who has departed with the US Olympic Team for China and Patrick Ianni also on the Olympic Team. The Dynamo however have been able to register new signings, Kei Kamara, who recently featured on Sierre Leone’s World Cup qualifying team and Nate Jaqua fresh from scoring five goals in ten games in the Austrian league for the knock out stages.

Christian Jimenez continues to play well despite his advanced age for the Tuzos. Bruno Marioni has had a great tournament and nobody would fancy Miguel Calero to get beat in a critical situation in a semifinal match. Pachuca has been the elite club in North America over the past several years, and while Houston bring a lot to the table, it’s difficult to see them breaking through tonight at Robertson Stadium.

On another note, detractors of this tournament should acknowledge the “Superliga hangover” affect which ailed DC United and Santos in the first competitive matches following unceremonious dismissals from this tournament. United was again humiliated at home by Houston last week and it took Santos Laguna a full half to get acclimated in its opening Apertura match this past weekend against Club America.

Back to tonight’s showdown. Houston’s weakness at the back will be the decisive blow for the MLS Cup champions’ hopes of adding Superliga to their trophy case. With Ianni gone, and Eddie Robinson again showing his injury prone self, it’s going to be rough going. A key tonight if Houston is to be successful will be the intensity of Rico Clark, marking Gabriel Caballero and  Christian Jimenez, as well as the wide play of Brad Davis and Cory Ashe. While I’m picking Pachuca, a win for Houston would not shock me.

Prediction: Pachuca 2  Houston 1

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

2 Comments

  1. Berlin July 29, 2008
  2. Berlin July 29, 2008
  3. Pingback: Pages tagged "unceremonious" August 11, 2008

Leave a Reply

Translate »