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Are MLS teams experiencing a CONCACAF hangover?

Mar 17, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT

George John 3

FRISCO, Texas – Seattle gave up the late goal to Portland last night, and the Sounders are taking a bigger drink from the cup of disappointment over the 1-1 draw. Drawing with a big rival will do that, you know.

Today in Texas, Houston gave up two first-half goals. On set-pieces, no less!

That’s the stuff of worlds spinning the wrong way. The Dynamo, with one of the best free kick and corner kick delivery men ever to wear an MLS shirt, have lived off set piece goals for years. So to see Dallas knock two past ‘keeper Tally Hall, one more or less from George John and one from a completely unmarked Andrew Jacobson, approaches “stunning.”

As Daniel Robertson from Big D Soccer said, “Houston got out-set pieced! Unbelievable.”

What do Seattle and Houston have in common? They both played in emotional CONCACAF Champions League matches during midweek.

They were emotional for different reasons; Houston lost its second leg in the quarterfinal series with Santos, absorbing the blow when they had gone into Torreon with high spirits and a one-goal lead. Seattle prevailed in its quarterfinal series with Tigres.

So it’s fair to at least ask the question: is there a Champions League hangover effect at work? Obviously, there’s a bit of a physical tax involved at some point, too.

Of course, all this factors into tonight’s Los Angeles derby; we’ll see what happens there, although the Galaxy should have plenty in the tank to deal with Chivas USA.

The Galaxy played in a Champions League quarterfinal, too, prevailing over Costa Rica’s Herediano.

(MORE: Backstories on the Galaxy-Chivas USA inner city rivalry)

By the way, the Houston Dynamo brought about two busloads of fans up I-45 for today’s contest. (Which is at halftime.)  The stands are not full for today’s ESPN2 broadcast, but the place is certainly lively thanks to the supporters groups on both sides.

  1. dfstell - Mar 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I can’t imagine why there wouldn’t be a negative to being in the CCL. We see it happen in England every year. Some clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal have the squad depth to really handle the extra games. Many other English clubs get into European competitions and don’t have the depth, don’t do very well in the tournament AND see their league form suffer as well. Look at Newcastle this year or Stoke last year. Watch what happens to Swansea next season once they have to decide how to spread their 12-13 quality players across 2 games in a week.

    But, that’s kinda the whole point of these tournaments. I really don’t think of them as crowning “the best” team in an region. Tournament soccer is too weird to automatically consider the winner to be “the best”. But, if you see teams that consistently qualify and consistently getting out of the group stages, those are the clubs you know are the best in the region.

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