Houston to face Sydney in Pan Pacific Championships
Sydney FC is a tough team with some quality to it, however, they are in the middle of a major roster problem as they currently have only 16-players available for the trip. This along with their shock playoff defeat, should give the upper hand in the match to Houston, however the Dynamo are still in the early stages of pre-season and have some injury issues of their own to deal with.
The PPC will involve two semifinal games with the losers facing off for third place and the winners go for the cup. The other semifinal match will see Japan's J-League Cup winner Gamba Osaka take on the SuperLiga runner-ups LA Galaxy (Pachuca were invited as SuperLiga winners but turned it down).
All four matches will take place in Hawaii with kickoff times at 6pm HT (GMT -10)/11pm ET and 8:30pm /1:30am ET (semis 20 Feb, finals 23 Feb). I can't find anything definitive, but I read somewhere that ESPN Classic will air the games in the US. Update: It is official, Adrian Healy and Allen Hopkins have been handed the horrible assignment of February in Hawaii as ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com will indeed air the matches live in the US.
It will be interesting to see how the teams treat these games. With LA, Houston and Gamba in pre-season mode and Sydney lacking a bench, who knows what we will see out there. Then again, a trophy is still a trophy, so maybe everyone will step it up.