Aug 20, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT
It was not so long ago that the Houston Dynamo and LA Galxy were front and center in discussions of the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League contenders.
Dominic Kinnear’s Dynamo had a 1-0 lead in the March two-legged quarterfinal series against Mexico’s Santos, still with plenty of work ahead but needing only a draw to advance.
Things fell apart down in Torreon, Mexico, however, as they have done so many times for MLS sides. Santos prevailed, 3-0, and the men in Dynamo orange were left to absorb the sting (and hopefully the lessons) of opportunity lost.
L.A. went even further in the annual, regional club competition, reaching a semifinal series against Monterrey. Bruce Arena’s team stacked a lot of emotional eggs into that CCL basket but still fell by a 3-1 aggregate result to the eventual champs.
The Dynamo and Galaxy hope to put those teachings to good use tonight as they join Champions League play.
Houston meets W Connection from Trinidad and Tobago’s TT Pro League. The match kicks off at 9 p.m. CT on Fox Sports 1.
Bruce Arena’s Galaxy host Costa Rican club Cartaginés at the StubHub Center. Kickoff for that one, on Fox Sports Plus, is set for 10 p.m. ET.
Houston and L.A. are the fourth and fifth MLS teams to begin their part of Champions League play, joining Sporting Kansas City, San Jose and Montreal, all of whom launched their accounts last week.
I’ve been touting the Dynamo’s midfield depth all year; it will get a test now, having played in the Houston heat on Saturday and with a match coming up in Canada this weekend against Montreal. That’s three matches in three countries over eight days, if you’re counting.
Calen Carr and Andrew Driver (pictured) are nearing full fitness, so that will surely help. Dynamo veteran Brian Ching, for one, certainly sounds confident.
Depending on the lineup Arena chooses, his team should handle Cartagines, a team without many trophies in the case.
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Rare bad night from Robbie Keane costs LA Galaxy against Real Salt Lake 1
- Atlantic crushed: D.C. United, New York open the season with three-goal losses 4
- Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video) 10
- Premier League Roundup: Chelsea clear at the top, Manchester United click, Cardiff bag huge win 0
- Will Johnson: We Weren't all Quite at the Races
- Owners Legal Issues Have Caught Up to Queretaro
- Juventus Prove They Know how to Win Despite Weak Performance Against Fiore
- Liverpool is Ready to Spend $100 Million in Summer Transfers
- Dallas Manage 3-2 Win in Season Opener Against Impact
- Dynamo Shut Out the Revs as Bruin Scores a Pair
- Argentine Melodies Illuminate Rainy Night in Portland
- LA Galaxy Gift Real Salt Lake Three Points in Season Opener
- Berhalter Gets First Win as Columbus Downs D.C. United 3-0
- Colorado Rapids - 3 Hopes and One Fear