Missing football and being close to the new Arsenal season without Arsenal football, I found myself watching the new Superliga, which pits the top four MLS teams against the top four Mexican Apertura teams in...well...a North American Superleague. It's sort of the Champions League of our continent.
Until last night, only one game was really excellent, and that was the game between Pachuca, the Mexican Champs, and Chivas Guadalajara, the runners-up.
But nothing could compare to last night's epic battle between Houston Dynamo and Pachuca in the first ever semi-final match-up of the new league.
Holy crap! I find myself slowly turning into a Dynamo fan (Ching, de Rosario, and Mullen are making that easy)—and watching the way they struggled and scrapped last night resembled that of George Graham's Arsenal: strong on set pieces, big and scrappy, and willing to do whatever it takes to grind out a win.
They've even perfected the old Arsenal offside trap. Not only are the Dynamo players turning me into a fan, they are also making me a believer in the future of the MLS.
27,000 turned up to watch the semi-final yesterday, so I can't be the only one.
MLS isn't as good as the Premiership (or La Liga or Eredivisie or Bundesliga or Ligue Un or Serie A), but they sure aren't the crap league they were ten years ago when I watched a DC United v. Galaxy game and subsequently tuned out for five years. They deserve a chance—particularly when teams from their league can perform like Dynamo performed last night.
Dynamo got an early red card, but kept on scrapping. They tied the game 2-2. Then Pachuca took a late red card. Then there was extra time.
Then Dynamo got another red card due to a petulant kick from Ashe. And Pachuca got a second yellow for their man.
But the ref pulled a Poll and forgot about the previous yellow, so he stayed on the pitch. Dynamo played with nine, Pachuca with ten. They went to penalties. And finally, Pachuca won.
A great game. The better team won, and they will likely win the first Superliga.
I for one will actually be watching the final. I just hope that Pachuca face Becks and the Galaxy, cause if they do there will be real hope for Superliga and the MLS.