25 July 2007

Match Briefing for 12.C.01: Monarcas Morelia

Match #: 12.C.01

Monarcas Morelia

Six Word Novel Preview: First Superliga game, we need points.

TV: TeleFutra/TV Azteca, 8PM

Radio: WMET 1160AM

Previous Meeting: First meeting ever in a competitive match.

The Stakes: The stakes really depend on what the Superliga becomes in the future. Right now, the tournament is in its first year and a lot of people are writing it off. I think this is a mistake. This tournament could eventually supplant either the CCC or the Interliga, or both. SUM is obviously throwing a lot of money at this and wants it to succeed. There are many sub-plots to this tournament that might make it very interesting in the years to come, the most important being the US/Mexico rivalry. This rivalry has never really extended into club matches, but the Superliga could change that.

I know many fans won't care about the Superliga until it does become a big tournament (if it ever does) but remember that DC United has always been about winning things first. Payne is a big proponent of the Superliga and I think he really wants United to show well. They basically have to beat Morelia to do that as both America, and away to Houston are probably harder matches and only the top two in each group advance. To put it simply, this game will set the stage for the rest of DC's tournament.

Previews from the DCUniverse: DC United Offside Blog, An American's View, The Edgell Supporters
Previews from the Moreliaworld:

Previews Updated as we find Oscar to translate them

Expectations: Basically anything can happen. I am hoping that Morelia fans are saying "But it was our pre-season" this time tomorrow, but I don't know if that will be the case. Frankly, I just don't know enough about Morelia to answer this. If DC United was clicking and hard charging I would probably expect a win, but they aren't. Morelia on the other hand is in pre-season, how important do they see these games being? If Morelia takes the tournament seriously then a tie is probably the most likely outcome, though a DC loss is definitely a large possibility. If they decide to take the New England Rev route to international matches then I think United can get the three points. Somehow I think they will care a bit more than Steve Nicol, hopefully United will be up for the test.

What to look for?

  1. Starting Line-up - Moreno, Kpene, and Namoff are all still sidelined with injuries. The line up Soehn trots out will tell us a lot about how United is going to play. Will Fred be out wide or used as a withdrawn forward? Will Olsen take the d-mid spot or go out wide? Who will the starting defenders be?

  2. Morelia's Fitness - How does Morelia come out at the beginning of the game? Are they ready to play or do they let United get into a rhythm? Also, look to see if any of the Monarchs tire late. Hopefully there will be a bunch of them, but I am not counting on it.

  3. DC Defense - I think all United fans need to watch out for defensive lapses. They have been a bit to frequent of late. If they occur early in the game you should probably hope United scores a bunch.

  4. Gomez! - Christian has flourished against teams that don't man mark him with their d-mid. This takes two things, a decent d-mid and a scouting report. Let's hope Morelia is lacking at least one of those.

  5. Mexican fans - Hopefully there will be lots of Morelia fans there. The real fan attraction is against America this weekend, but a good showing of Morelia fans on a weekday will be a nice bonus. I never like opposing fans in Estadio RFK but they are the reason SUM has put this tournament together. The idea is to show them MLS sides that compete (or destroy?) their Mexican clubs, and then maybe, just maybe they will come out an watch MLS games a bit more. This is what is needed, MLS shouldn't pander, it should showcase its quality.

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At 25 July, 2007 17:03, Anonymous bill urban said...


Did you cheat and copy/paste into Word first?

Grammatically impeccable...

I find the thought of an SUM event supplanting the CONCACAF Champions Cup mildly disturbing. No good reason for that, since CONCACAF might be the most useless of world administrative bodies, with a fair whiff of corruption as well.

But the thought of the suits at SUM "taking over" in some metaphorical fashion important club tournaments in this region...


By way of balance, last night's matches were a lot of fun to watch...

At 25 July, 2007 17:43, Blogger Kinney said...

Indeed I did cheat. :)

When I said that it might become the CCC what I foresee is something like the following:

SUM knows how to sell soccer, and from what I can tell CONCACAF does not. If at any point the Superliga invites Central American teams it will become the de facto CONCACAF Championship because of the $ amounts involved. If that is the case, I could see the CONCACAF organization jumping on board and turning the Superliga into the championship tournament. They would just have Caribbean and Central American qualifying currently being done for the CCC apply to the Superliga instead.

I think really this might happen if Warner is still President and the Superliga takes off. Caribbean teams (and thus old Jack) would most likely be left out in the cold and out of the money of the Superliga. This way CONCACAF gains some control over the most lucrative regional tournament and the businesses starting the Superliga get a regional championship that makes loads more than the current one does.

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