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Morning Ticker: Houston ties Pumas in shootout, Poland at risk of losing Euro 2012 and injury woes for Man Utd


The Houston Dynamo scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of its match against UNAM Pumas on Wednesday, but still wound up needing  a second-half equalizer to salvage a point in a wild 4-4 tie in CONCACAF Champions League action on Tuesday night in Mexico.

Kei Kamara and Craig Waibel scored two goals apiece for the Dynamo, which dropped to 0-0-2 in Champions League play. The draw keeps Major League Soccer teams winless in the tournament (0-5-3) but the performance was the best by an MLS team in the competition.

Former Chivas USA star Francisco Palencia was one of four different goal-scorers for Pumas, providing a goal and assist to help the Mexican club improve to 1-0-2 in group play, good for first place.

Scotland could step in to host Euro 2012

Delays and political interference are threatening Poland and Ukraine’s status as co-hosts for Euro 2012, and could open the door for Scotland to host the tournament.

For those who haven’t been keeping track, the Polish government suspended the country’s soccer federation over concerns regarding corruption, a move that goes against FIFA bylaws that forbid government interference with national soccer federations.

That isn’t good news for Poland or Ukraine, which could wind up losing the tournament because of its co-hosts problems.

Scholes out 10 weeks with MCL injury

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is set to miss 10 weeks after suffering an MCL injury in his right knee in the team’s 3-0 Champions League win vs. Aalborg BK on Tuesday. Manchester United is also awaiting news on the injury status of striker Wayne Rooney, who suffered an ankle injury in the same match.

What did you think of Houston’s performance last night (assuming you stayed up to watch it)? Do you see UEFA moving Euro 2012 to Scotland (or someplace other than the Ukraine and Poland)? Will the absence of Scholes hurt Manchester United or do you see Anderson stepping in and playing well in his place?

Share your thoughts on these and any other stories from last night and this morning in the comments section below.


  1. I don’t care what anyone says, the revs tanked it. They don’t care about this tournament and it showed. plus the majority of teams that I think are built for international play never get to play in international competitions. WHich is why I think superliga should go to the third and fourth place teams in both confrences, the us open cup champion and the MLS cup runner up. Then the concacaf should be MLS cup winner, second place team in both confrences then the superliga winner.Though there might be an overlap this gives US based USL teams something to shoot for because if they win the open cup they can go the concacaf championship. These tournaments need to give incentives. I think if the FO stopped being scared they could extend the season another 2 weeks so that teams schedules will not be so compact.

    Next year I can’t wait to see the crew in this competition or chicago. I’m tired of seeing the same teams. the revs should never be allowed back in until they grow a pair.

  2. “He called a foul on Robinson (and carded him too), when it seems pretty clear that the contact was fairly even between the defender and his marker.”


    I thought ERob was lucky to stay on the pitch for that. He was beat out of position and used his trademark calf wrangler, from behind, grab the collar take down. Seems like we’ve seen him get away with this move a lot recently.

    As for the “fairplay,” c’mon, you think a team down by two goals, in D.F. no less, is just gonna sit there and play nice if the ref doesn’t stop play. Do I like it, no, but your dreaming if you think anything different would/should happen.

  3. pumas scored a cheap first goal, stuie was down and hurt for a while and they kept playing and ran right past his prone body for the first goal

    fair play? not so much…

  4. Rob,

    The plan is to expand Rugby Park to about 30,000 seats, then bring it down to about 20,000 after the tournament. Aberdeen are looking for a new stadium. 30,000 would be too much for them too so they would bring it down to about 22,000. They’re looking into building a single ground for both Dundee and Dundee United which will again be retracted to about 20,000 after the tournament. They’re also thinking about putting up a few athletics stadiums in a number of larger towns for the tournament wohse capacity could then be retracted. Hell, even Falkirk’s ground might receive an expansion. So here’s what it might look like:

    Hampden Park, Glasgow

    Ibrox, Glasgow

    Murrayfield, Edinburgh

    Tynecastle, Edinburgh (getting a facelift already)

    Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

    New Aberdeen Stadium

    New Dundee Stadium

    Athletic Stadium in ?

  5. Anderson will be a fine replacement. He doesn’t have Scholes’ long range capabilities, but he’s not a yellow card liability like Scholes is with his terrible tackles.

  6. What makes Pumas’ goal worse was that not only did Holden go down, he went down on what should have been a foul call! The ball was loose, Holden and a Pumas player both ran for it. Holden got there first and sent it upfield seconds before the Pumas player slid into Holden (studs up, I might add). Stuart’s pass made it to Cameron, who seemed hesitant to play it (perhaps he was waiting to see if he should kick it out). While he was holding the ball Pumas stripped him of it and went on the attack. Holden did not get back up until well after the goal, and was subbed out shortly thereafter. Although one can argue that Pumas did wrong here, the egregious error is on the part of the referee. In fact, the referee made a bad call on the play that led to Pumas’s second goal. He called a foul on Robinson (and carded him too), when it seems pretty clear that the contact was fairly even between the defender and his marker. The Pumas player was running on to a through pass when his first touch put it too far ahead. Although he and Eddie had been tangling arms for his entire run, he waited until he had sent it too far ahead to fall down.

    It’s unfortunate that these two referee errors led to Pumas goals, as I thought that otherwise he actually called the game very well. As a Dynamo fan, I can’t feel too upset about the outcome. Referee errors are part of the game (see Dynamo v. Pachuca); it’s incredibly unlucky for the Dynamo to have given up two goals as a result of them but that’s life; even when the Dynamo were up 2-0 I felt the scoreline was more a cushion against the inevitable Pumas resurgence rather than a likely win.

    Hey, it’s a result I can easily live with. I predict that the Dynamo will move onto the next round, and that’s really all that matters.

  7. Scotland, while a great place to visit, doesn’t make sense as a host, IMO.

    This year, there were no stadia that held less than 30,000 at Euro. Poland/Ukraine was going to be the same. Portugal four years ago did have two; one was at 28,000 the other at 23,000. In both 2000 and 1996, nothing under 30,000. Before that, it was only an 8 team tourney.

    So, it looks like UEFA tries to use 30,000 as a floor, although they make the (very) rare exception.

    With Scotland, they only have three soccer stadiums that fit this billing. In addition to that, they’re all in Glasgow (none of the previous hosts have had multiple stadia in one host city).

    Even if they’re allowed to have three venues in one city, they’re still left well short. I assume they’d probably be able to use Murrayfield, a rugby ground in Edinburgh, but that still only give you half the venues needed.

    The four next largest venues would be:

    Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen (22,200)

    Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh (18,300)

    Rugby Park, Kilmarnock (18,220)

    Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh (17,500)

    So, in addition to having to use a rugby ground as a venue, you also have two host cities that have three venues each, when no other host city has ever had two, let alone three, let alone two cities doing it in the same tournament. You also have the four smallest venues the tournament has seen since becoming as big a deal as it is.

    I just don’t see how Scotland, on their own, is a viable host, especially on short notice, when there are plenty of other countries (England, Germany, Italy, Spain, France) who could pull this off in a heartbeat (and some may want to, as proof that they can be a viable host for a WC).

  8. @Northzax: I don’t see how USL teams succeeding is bad for MLS, either. Whichever US/Canadian based teams perform well, those players are part of the system here and may trickle into MLS. Or, those teams doing well may end up in the MLS, thus growing the league.

    It can be argued that USL team successes demonstrate the overall depth of the system here.

  9. Dynamo should have won. Their defending was terrible. Jaqua lost his man repeatedly on set pieces. Waibel, Robinson, and Barrett are all sloooowwww. Chip the ball over the defense and run onto it. Too easy. Ugh

  10. about time scholes gets his comeuppance. he’s one of the dirtiest, chippies players in the league. goodbye and goodriddance

  11. It’s a good thing Waibel scored twice, because his defending was horrible. How do you go to Mexico, score four goals, and not win?

  12. there is no way in hell as a player, that I would kick the ball out if I am on a clear scoring opportunity; and an opponent is down on the field. The first thing you learn when you play is “don’t stop unless you hear the whistle”. Ultimately it’s the referee’s decision.

  13. It’s not like the guy was standing right next to him, passed through to the other guy by Holden, and then the guy scored. Holden went down, the ball was cleared to midfield, held looking for a pass, passed upfield, then passed through right by Holden for the goal. I’m not necessarily complaining, but when it was at midfield, just being stood over for a couple seconds, that’s when you normally see the ball played out.

  14. A draw in no Oxygen land is pretty damn good.

    You could see the Houston players struggling for air a few times. So, to have walked away with a point on the road where other teams have always failed, I think it is a pretty good result for Houston.

    They still have a game in hand, so they are not out by any stretch.

  15. why exactly will USL teams advancing be a blow to MLS? is USL going to start taking fans away from MLS? TV revenue? anything? maybe TFC will beg to join USL, instead of Montreal begging to join MLS?

    Montreal and PR care about this tournament and have the freedom to play it. So does Houston (along among the MLS teams involved) why are these results in anyway surprising or reflective of anything but fixture congestion and lack of motivation for this tournament among MLS?

  16. Ives,

    I think you missed out on two significant stories: the 10 year @ $1.5 million/year stadium naming deal of RSL with Rio Tinto and the FIFA Futsal World Championships going on in Rio (it’s supposedly Falcao’s last tournament).

  17. “All you have to do for perspective is go over the FA Cup and what happens there with Championship teams or 3rd tier teams against the “big boys.”

    This is a false analogy. The equivalent in England would be if Championship teams outside of England (like Cardiff, Swansea, etc) were able to participate in UEFA CL and were outperforming Premier League clubs on a regular basis in the competition. Though I would be quick to point out the talent disparity between the the Chelsea, Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal and the Championship teams in my example (Swansea and Cardiff) is much greater than that between those representing the MLS and USL in the CONCACAF CL (at least in my opinion).

    And I still wouldn’t compare this to FA Cup upsets, seeing how the USL teams are consistently playing better than the MLS teams in the this competition.

  18. It would be nice if United had someone fit other than just Anderson. Hargreaves, Carrick, and now Scholes are all out for a few weeks at least.

    Starting John O’Shea in the midfield isn’t a recipe for success.

    As for Scholes, it’s tough to see his career winding down. He’s simply been an amazing midfielder.

  19. I also agree that it is a bad image thing for MLS to be “outdone” by USL teams. But in know way do I think it means directly: the USL is better than the MLS. All you have to do for perspective is go over the FA Cup and what happens there with Championship teams or 3rd tier teams against the “big boys.” I don’t give the MLS any excuses. Players should never resort first to excuses. However, as an observer, I DO think their lack of depth, numbers wise, and the increasing cups and ligas the MLS is in ARE straining their resources.

    This tie today, while I did not see it, sounds pretty awesome. ANd looking at the table, Pumas are in the top three. They are no slouch. Great going Houston!!

  20. I agree. Would Houston have kicked the ball out also? I don’t think so and if they did I would lose it if I was a Houston fan. In regular play you kick it out but you don’t stop a clear chance for goal. That’s the refs job.

  21. As I stated last nite, the announcers counted 20 seconds from the moment Holden went down to the moment PUMAS scored. If anything the ref should’ve stopped the game, otherwise you play until the whistle blows.

    I’ve seen that play a million times all over the world and rarely do you see a team stop a clear scoring chance to kick the ball out for an opposing player. It shouldn’t be like that but Dante Lopez had his eye on the goal once he broke away from the last defender, not sure I would’ve kicked the ball out myself unless the ref had stopped play.

    Good result for Houston.

  22. It’s “Ukraine” not “the Ukraine”. Ukraine is what the country is called, the Ukraine is what the region was called when it was part of the Soviet Union.

  23. Don’t forget an interesting story in the Concacaf Champions League is the play of 2 USL teams…Puerto Rico and Montreal Impact who both sit atop their divisions. Montreal is actually tied for 1st place with Mexican giant Atlante! Montreal managed to pull out a draw with Atlante in a home game for Montreal. USL teams that advance will be a blow for MLS as a league!

  24. This might be it for Scholes as a regular player in the ManU side. He’s 33, has a LOT of miles on him, and now this. Can’t say that I’ll be sorry to see him go. All the dirty, mistimed tackles of his career won’t be missed.

    Now, as a Chelsea fan, I should not be all broken up about a Rooney injury but it is my dirty little secret that I love watching Rooney play ball. I really hope he’s not injured.

  25. Surprised that don’t see any comments on Puma’s second goal. Dynamo had a man down on the pitch, Puma dribbled right by his into the defensive opening and scored. Seemed to be a pretty poor example of sportsmanship! Or a poor example of the ref not shutting down play for a player injury!

  26. Hey, a draw for the Dynamo is pretty good in that situation and with two road draws, they are getting themselves into a good position for advancement. it would be really nice for an MLS team to get ONE win in the tournament though.


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