07 April 2005

DC United 1 - 1 Pumas

I managed to catch the first half of the CONCACAF Champions Cup match between the reigning champions from the US and Mexican domestic leagues, which pleased me for two main reasons:

1. I got to glimpse the new soccer configuration of RFK stadium now that it has been renovated to accomodate the newly arrived Nationals baseball team. I have to confess that I've never been much of a baseball fan, and after absorbing the awkwardness of the new soccer surface, I'm even less of one.

2. The game, at least the first half, was very entertaining. In the first leg of the previous round DC United defeated Harbour View FC from Jamaica in a drab encounter played in arctic conditions. The match against UNAM Pumas, in contrast, was much more flowing, dynamic and enjoyable. Credit the Mexicans, who came out attacking despite their current poor run of domestic form. United got an early goal set up by an inch-perfect cross by Jaime Moreno. UNAM then dominated the rest of the first half but missed a trio of good scoring chances. Pumas did finally manage to tie the score when awarded a generous penalty in the second half, with Jaime Moreno again the instigator. So, DC have to get a result in the return leg in Mexico City on April 13 to progress- not an easy task. Still, it's wonderful to see the US clubs competing on equal footing with the other big clubs from CONCACAF.

One question I'm left with, however, is the selection process that CONCACAF employs to determine the participants for this competition. I would assume that the league and cup champions from each CONCACAF member nation would have the opportunity to participate, but that seems not to be the case. Why is there only a single team from Costa Rica and none from Guatemala, Nicaragua or any of the other Central American countries? Is participation from "lesser" leagues simply at the whim of CONCACAF? Anyone know how this works?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?