I swear, somewhere along the line I almost forgot about this. The CONCACAF Champions League returns in full swing this week. Houston will carry Major League Soccer's flag as the Dynamo will play Atlante on Tuesday.
Other quarterfinal series: Cruz Azul-Pumas; Montreal-Santos Laguna; Marathon-Puerto Rico.
There's a chance we could see three Mexican teams in the semifinals... or one. I'd give the edge to a Mexican team in the Cruz Azul-Pumas series for sure. That's my super lock of the year.
Not sure about Atlante. They are in bad form. Still, they are in midseason form however bad that may be, while Houston is in preseason form, and I think that's the excuse MLS teams always fall back on, you know, the whole "we can't win for crap because we're in preseason form."
If I'm a betting man, I'd actually take Houston. Atlante can't score and can't win, at least not recently and I think Houston has had this on their mind for a while. They've had this to prepare for and I think Dominic Kinnear will have his team prepared.
Santos is slowly coming out of their own wretched start to the Clausura and all I know about Montreal is that it is about a six-hour flight from LA. Santos is a tough place to visit so I'd give them the edge on that alone, even if Montreal were at their peak and since the USL season hasn't started, I'm guessing they're not.
If nothing else, it's more soccer and more regional soccer so I'll be watching.