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CONCACAF Champions League: Houston falls to Metapan despite goal from Tally Hall


The stage was set in El Salvador last night for the Houston Dynamo to punch their ticket to the CCL quarterfinals. Earlier in the evening, Pachuca had knocked off Arabe Unido 2-0, meaning three points would seal qualification and give MLS their second entrant in the next round.

But Isidro Metapan, the tiny club from Central America and winless in their previous five CCL matches — having been outscored 17-0 in those games — was out to play the spoiler. In the eighth minute, Houston found themselves already down 2-0, as two defensive mistakes by Eddie Robinson allowed Metapan to jump all over the visitors.

Houston wasn't going away that easily, and narrowed the deficit by a goal just minutes later from Geoff Cameron. Brian Ching played Cameron in behind the Metapan defense and the midfielder knocked in Houston's first goal of the game. The equalizer came under bizarre circumstances in first half stoppage time. Goalie Tally Hall knocked the ball long into the Metapan box, and when Brian Ching collided with Metapan's keeper, this allowed the ball to bounce into the net. Video of the goal is after the jump.

Hall's goal would stand as the ref ruled a fair challenge by the U.S. striker. However, the tie would last just 10 minutes into the second half, when Metapan grabbed the game winner. Emerson Umana scored off a deflected free kick, and Houston couldn't make a final push to

What did you think of last night's game? Surprised to see another goalie score? Should it have been a foul on Ching? Disappointed to see Houston crash out? 

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m with Russ on this….the Dynamo missed chance after chance. I had to finally turn off the TV. I knew how it was going to end by the 60th minute…

  2. I find people’s reactions to be a bit absurd. While those who’ve pointed out that roster limitations and lack of a reserve league hurt MLS teams’ performances in these tournaments are largely correct, those who scream that this result is a horrid embarrassment seem to not be aware of what’s going on in the world. To wit:

    On June 6 El Salvador, having already shown the ability to tie superior teams at home with two 2-2 results, beats Mexico 2-1.

    Just yesterday the Champions League featured not one, not two, but three embarrassing home losses for (in ascending order of embarrassment) Liverpool (1-2 vs. O. Lyon), Rangers (1-4 vs. FC Unirea Urziceni), and Barcelona (1-2 vs. Rubin Kazan). All three of those in one day! Note that Unirea and Rubin Kazan are both currently first time champions in their respective leagues, during their first ever periods in their countries top flight, and have been there for only 3 and 6 years, respectively.

    Again, I’m not saying the Dynamo shouldn’t have won (they should have), but to call it a sign of the pathetic quality of MLS is both to ignore the way world football is changing and to disrespect the quality of CONCACAF opponents.

  3. Huge mistake by Kinnear to start Robinson at CB in a 3-man back line, especially since he’s coming off a long injury layoff. And Dynamo certainly paid the price. That first goal in particular was a horror show. Houston also continues to pay for their inability to find a forward who can finish. Having Landin Cup-tied really hurt. Agree with all that’s been said about the Reserve squads. MLS teams simply can’t compete against the deeper Mexican clubs at this level. Oh well. Pulling for Jabloteh tonight and Columbus this spring.

  4. I agree except I have never heard anyone (except maybe A. Lalas) say either of those things because that is just not realistic.

  5. 9:00 on a wednesday night, that’s rough. Definately need deeper rosters/reserve league but I’m not saying anything new there

  6. Absolutely pathetic, embarrassing loss for Houston and MLS. How do you lose to a little club that is 0-0-5? Disgraceful. Houston should be ashamed. MLS’ quality shows its true form. We are a poor league that simply can not compete. Things like this make me not want to even watch MLS anymore.

  7. This actually doesn’t make economic sense. Dynamo make way more money in ticket sales for a CL game against a Mexican rival than even a league playoff game. Granted it is still a gamble, but these things should be considered. The economic reasoning is usually reversed in Europe where big money comes in every league game.

    As a Houston fan, I am disappointed they are not advancing in CL. Houston should be able to do well in CL and MLS. It doesn’t make the MLS look that good either, when one of the better teams loses sloppily to a weak side.

  8. I just can’t believe people still think that MLS teams would dominate CCC, or even avoid relegation in the EPL.

    Call it euro-snobbery or whatever you want. I love MLS, but it is still a terribly skilled/coached league.

  9. It’s not easy to balance them, but we have already made the playoffs and Dom doesn’t seem to value the supporters shield so I would rather field our strongest team and advance in the Champions League than get an extra three points this weekend against Chivas. Besides, Chivas are playing midweek so they won’t be any more rested.

  10. I am a Dynamo fan. After a night to sleep on it, I think they made a mistake with the 3 man backline but there was some circumstances that contributed to the roster. Some on here are acting as if Kinnear choose to sit guys. Most of the guys he left off he did not have at his disposal. Clark, Ashe, Cruz, and Weaver are nursing injuries. Hainault was on a red, Mullan had an accumulation of yellows and was not avalible. Landin is not eligible. 7 of 24, and 7 that normally get minutes, could not play. Boswell/Holden were the only omissions by the coach. Bottom line, the reserve league needs to come back and rosters need to be expanded to 30 if MLS teams are going to compete.

  11. Sure, but isn’t this sort of like teams in the Europa League fielding reserve sides because they don’t feel they can compromise their league play?

    Is the financial incentive really there for MLS teams to take this competition seriously?

  12. This is an honest question, because I don’t know how I’d feel if the Fire were in a similar situation:

    Would you rather Dom play the starters in this one or keep them fresh for the stretch run in league play? Or do you not see those as mutually exclusive?

    I thought that the reason Kinnear went with a weaker squad, and why Soehn went with a weaker DC in Mexico, was that they didn’t want to risk players for the end run of the season. Maybe with larger rosters this isn’t as big a deal? I don’t know, like I said the Fire aren’t in this position.

  13. Pathetic





    No excuse above justifies this.

    They should have forfeited and saved themselves the flight.

  14. I concur with the above. MLS just can’t cut it internationally. I don’t know if it’s lack of experience or lack of motivation for players with matches outside MLS (Quaranta was quoted at one point saying that he wasn’t as interested in matches outside MLS but instead wanted to focus on playoffs). Another point is the lack of a reserve league when these games happen near the end of the MLS regular season. There just aren’t enough players for all these tournaments. I think that until the reserve league is reinstated (no hurry with the economy as it is) then we can expect more international failures. No qualms. We just don’t have the arguments at this point. The MLS – Mexican league matchups left us with an 0-6 record. Enough said.

  15. I’m not sure people think they’re bad based on the fact that they’re from El Salvador– they’re bad based on what we’ve already seen from them in this tournament.

    Watched this game in its entirety. Embarrassing loss for MLS.

  16. Upsets me as a season ticket holder to pay for tickets for this tournament every year when we don’t take it seriously. Especially for 9:00 kickoff at home. You try to show up to support your team for those games but it’s tough when Dom isn’t taking it seriously.

  17. Kinnear has made no bones about the fact that his priority is the MLS cup, with a big game on Sunday with Chivas I wasn’t surprised that so many “reserves” were in key roles. I do think that a three man back line was a pretty major miscalculation on Kinnear’s part. Playing 3 in the back when all 3 are backups that have not seen significant minutes is pretty risky, and they paid for it.

    For me this result shows what a negative impact the loss of the reserve leage has had on the quality of play from MLS reserve players. Last year Houston sent theri entire reserve team to El Salvador in a must win game and they got a result, this year even with some starters they fall short. It was obvious that there was not understanding /chemistry between players at key moments. MLS – take this tournament seriously, and reinstitute the Reserve League!

  18. Embarrassing. Wow, this left me speechless.. Did you SEE the team Houston lost to? It literally looks like a group of guys from my Thursday night men’s league. Atrocious display.

  19. How about a bit of respect for the other leagues in the region.

    El Salvador’s showing in the Hex should have alerted everyone that the can play a bit of footie down there.

    And the bottom line was that Dom Kinnear got out coached. Seems like Houston thought Metapan would lay back (with nothing to lose, at home) and were surprised when they came out attacking.

    The lack of experience coaching and playing in these type of tournaments showed in my opinion.

    Still, very disappointing. Let’s all root for Jabloteh tonight.

  20. it was a fair challenge. ching’s eyes were on the ball the whole time.

    its pretty pathetic that houston cant beat some no name team….

  21. The contact should have probably been a foul. In the end it came down to missed opportunities for Houston. They had so many chances and just couldn’t convert. Incredibly frustrating to see an MLS team lose a game like that.


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