Monday, February 25, 2008

2008 Concacaf Champions Cup schedule - Can Houston or DC win the region?

In just two weeks both DC United and the Houston Dynamo will play their first meaningful matches of the year as the final installment of the Concacaf Champions' Cup (CCC) gets underway. The winner of this the CCC will represent the region at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan this December.

The tournament is made up of three stages with each stage being a two leg (home-away) affair. Here is the full schedule (all times Eastern - FSC will air all matches in the US, though some are tape delayed):

Leg 1
QF 1 - CD Motagua (Hon) 0-0 Pachuca CF (Mex)
11 March Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino - Att: 35,846
QF 2 - Harbour View (Jam) 1-1 DC United (USA)
12 March Harbour View Stadium, Kinston - Att: 6,985
QF 4 - CSD Municipal (Gua) 0-0 Houston Dynamo (USA)
12 March Estadio Mateo Flores - Att:
QF 3 - Atlante FC (Mex) 2-1 Deportivo Saprissa (CR)
13 March Estadio Andres Quintana Roo, Cancun - Att:

Leg 2
QF 2 - DC United (USA) 5-0 Harbour View (Jam)
18 March RFK Stadium - Att: 12,394
DC United win series 6-1
QF 4 - Houston Dynamo (USA) 3-1 CSD Municipal (Gua)
19 March Robertson Stadium - Att: 14,348
Houston Dynamo win series 3-1
QF 1 - Pachuca CF (Mex) 1-0 CD Motagua (Hon)
19 March Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca - Att:
Pachuca win series 1-0
QF 3 - Deportivo Saprissa (CR) 3-0 Atlante FC (Mex)
20 March Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, San Jose - Att: 23,000
Deportivo Saprissa win series 4-2

Leg 1
SF 1 - Pachuca (Mex) vs. DC United (US)
01 April Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca
SF 2 - Houston Dynamo (US) vs. Deportivo Saprissa (CR)
02 April Robertson Stadium

Leg 2
SF 1 - DC United (US) vs. Pachuca (Mex)
08 April RFK Stadium
SF 2 - Deportivo Saprissa (CR) vs. Houston Dynamo (US)
09 April

Leg 1 - Winner SF 2 vs. Winner SF 1
23 April
Leg 2 - Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF 2
30 April

The schedule means that if DC United advances to the end, they will host the second leg in all three rounds. Houston, meanwhile, will get to host the second leg only in the first round.

Both MLS sides will face the challenge of meeting teams in the middle of their season, but in the first round, Houston looks to have the tougher opposition. Municipal is a historic club in Guatemalan soccer and their current roster contains a large number of players from their national team, including Juan Carlos Plata. Also, chances are good that their 30,000 seat home stadium will be near capacity for this match.

DC should have an easier time with Harbour View as they are a good club but not a dominant one. However, the Caribbean winner has often given their first round opponent trouble, so United should not look past them.

Last year both DC and Houston had good runs in the CCC, only to fall in the second round to teams from Mexico. This year they have a little easier time of it as the matches start two and a half weeks later then they did in 2007, giving them more time in pre-season training to prepare.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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