• Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

    Arabe Unido looks to extend Group 1 lead at Houston

    HOUSTON -- If form means anything in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL), then Arabe Unido enters its Wednesday encounter against the Houston Dynamo in fine shape.

    The Panamanians won both of their games last week without conceding a goal.

    Houston was not as fortunate.

    In fact, the Dynamo fell 5-0 on Saturday at fellow CCL competitor Impact de Montreal -- the worst defeat in the Major League Soccer club's history.  So, it will be interesting to see if it can bounce back in the CCL Group 1 confrontation at BBVA Compass Stadium.

    “We know we didn’t play well at all and they played really well but it’s how you respond,” midfielder Adam Moffat said. “We’ve got a game at home in Champions League and then two pretty tough road games so you’ve got to forget about it and have a short memory.

    “I think every single guy in there wants to get back out there and prove it’s a one-off and that we’re a much better team than we showed.”

    As it turns out, both teams are very much in the race for the top spot in their respective league or conference. Despite this weekend’s setback, the fifth-place Dynamo (10-6-8, 36 points) still is within reach of a playoff spot and only five points behind Eastern Conference leading Montreal (12-5-7, 41).

    Arabe (3-2-2, 11 points) has seized third place in the domestic standings -- three points adrift of table-topping Tauro – thanks to a 1-0 win over Rio Abajo on Wednesday and a 3-0 road win on Saturday against Sporting San Miguelito, another CCL competitor.

    As evidenced by four different players (Fidel Caesar v Rio Abajo; Jose Gonzalez, Abdiel Macea and Joseph Cox v Sporting San Miguelito) accounting for those four goals, the 10-time Panamanian champion knows how to share the wealth and distribute scoring duties throughout the roster in all competitions.   In its CCL opener, the Furia Colonense got a brace from Humberto Ward in recording a 3-1 victory over DIRECTV W Connection.

    It also leads its CCL group with a 1-0-0 record thanks to a 3-1 win over visiting DIRECTV W Connection (0-1-1, 1 point) on August 8.  The Dynamo (0-1-0, 1 point) is in second on goal difference following last week’s scoreless draw with W Connection in Trinidad & Tobago.

    This will be the third all-time CCL meeting between Houston and Arabe Unido.  The Dynamo leads the series with one win and one draw in two matches during the 2009-10 edition.  U.S. international Stuart Holden scored two goals in the home victory, 5-1, on September 22, 2009.

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