Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CONCACAF Champions' Cup Quarterfinals start tonight

Houston and DC still have a week till they face their first real matches of the year when they join in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup (CCC) Quarterfinals, but tonight when Mexico's CD Guadalajara and Trinidad and Tobago's W. Connection get the festivities moving.

W. Connection will play host and hope to use their speed and perhaps their stadium's condition to their advantage. Guadalajara will be happy to get out level and force Connection to make something happen back in Mexico on the 28th.

With the long history and success of Guadalajara, it is difficult to see them losing the series. However, Connection is a quick team and has worked hard over the last few weeks to get to the CCC Quarterfinals including a big 1-0 win over San Juan Jabloteh to earn this spot.

Fox Soccer Channel will air the game tape-delayed starting at 11pm ET.

The winner of this series will take on the winner of CD Olimpia-DC United series that begins next Wednesday the 21st in Honduras.

Much like Houston, DC will face the problem of still being in their preseason while the other teams in the competition have been playing meaningful games. Add to it that they have to start on the road and you've got the makings of some real bad possibilities.

However, the good news is they play the final leg of the series at home where their fans can give them a bit of a push, especially if it comes down to overtime or a penalty shoot-out. If United has 20,000 faithful screaming away at RFK stadium on March 1, CD Olimpia will have a much tougher time of it.

For Houston, they will play in a stadium that only holds 5-8,000 on the campus of Texas A&M, so they should be able to fill it up (calling all Aggies).

If you are a fan of soccer in America and you live near either of these sites, you should head out to the game. If we want American teams to be taken seriously around the world, we need to start winning some international competitions and we need to show them that, as fans, we know the importance of these matches.

DC and Houston are going to play against very hostel crowds during their road portion of the quarterfinals, it is only fair that Olimpia and Puntarenas get the same thing when they come to America.

You can find tickets for DC United here.

For Houston's home game at Texas A&M, tickets are available here.

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