Superliga is a tournament contrived by SUM (Soccer United Marketing) for the sole purpose of making money. It pits the top four Mexican teams from the Apertura against the top four teams from Major League Soccer (MLS) during the MLS regular season, before the Clasura begins. While the meaning and timing of the tournament can be debated, its quality cannot. As I wrote last year, the matches are absolutely captivating affairs full of fast-paced, hard-fought football. The first four matches over the weekend lived up to last year’s standard. DC United had a pk saved and hit the post twice in a 2-1 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara. My brother went to the match and said the environment was excellent, lots of fans from both sides having a good time. My mom, who had watched the match on television, said the Mexicans’ feet are like lightning. Once DC found a way to get a hold of the ball, they got the upper-hand. Unfortunately their goalie is terrible and was unable to save an underpaced free kick from 25 yards and their finishing was just off.
In the other match from DC’s group, Houston thrashed Atlante 4-0. That is the good news: the bad news is that Houston’s best player, hot-headed Dwayne DeRosario (aka DeRo, aka DDR) was ejected for a pissing match with Javier Munoz Mustafa after already being three goals to the good and will have to sit out tonight’s match against the more talented Chivas. In tonight’s other match, DC plays Atlante. Both matches can be seen on Telefutura or online at http://superliga2008.com. Highlights of all the matches are posted on the tournament website.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the semifinals to face the top two finishers for the group that includes last year’s winners Pachuca along with Chivas USA, the New England Revolution and Santos. Chivas USA’s fate was similar to DC: Sacha Kljestan pinged the crossbar in a 2-1 loss to Pachuca. New England beat 10-men Santos on the strength of a Kelly Dube goal. Santos’ goalkeeper is Oswaldo Sanchez, the punk who tried a studs-up tackle on Eddie Johnson after Landon Donovan scored in a US/Mexico clasico two years ago. Seeing him lose is always a treat.
The games resume in just about six hours. Here’s hoping for an all-MLS semifinal.