25 July 2008

SuperLiga Impressions and Predictions

After watching a fair amount of the SuperLiga games from the group stage I think its safe to say that the tournament's sophomore year has been a pretty big success. Many, if not all of the games have been very exciting and high scoring. As a DC United fan it has been hard at times, but I think the games have been enjoyable overall. I even got to see United play Chivas Guadalajara and Houston Dynamo live.

I have to say I was fairly surprised when Chivas Guadalajara didn't advance and Atlante surged back from their opening game 4-0 loss to secure the runner up position. The best part was that none of the final spots had been secured by the last round of games. Every single team on Group A had a shot of advancing and all but Santos had a shot at advancing in Group B. The teams really made it exciting until stoppage time ran out in the final half of all the last games.

Now that we look towards the knockout round it is going to be really hard to try and pick the winners. However, I think if you have been paying attention to all four teams it will make sense as to who the winners are going to beat. The first match will be Group B winners New England Revolution against Group A runners up Atlante. The Revs will be hurting with having a decent amount of players still injured and many of their top players not getting a rest because of the All Star game. Also you have to take into account Atlante's resurgence and how well they played against Chivas last weekend. With all that said, the Revs have continually brought their best and haven't lost a game in a very long time. They even beat last year's winners (although only because of a very shady PK call). I would have to say this game will be very close, but the Revs will take it by a goal.

The other game is going to more difficult to predict. I think that Houston definitely has the size advantage, but Pachuca has the skills to pull out the victory. Pachuca's goalie will be the determining factor of the game I think as his age limits his ability to have a perfectly dominating performance. However, after watching him stop almost everything New England threw at him I don't think Houston will have the ability to to overcome the obvious skill difference. Houston is just lacking the ability to compete at the top level of CONCACAF where Pachuca has been for the past several years and will lose this one by a goal or more.

The final will be a rematch of the previous New England and Pachuca game and it will be one for the ages. More on the final after the other two games have been played.

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