MAJOR UPDATE::: THIS MATCH WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE LIVE ON ESPN KALL 700 TONIGHT.
Well we are in the middle of the 13 days (day 6 to be exact) that hold major keys to what will happen to RSL in the CONCACAF Champions League, the race for the Supporters' Shield and even to repeat as MLS Cup Champions. With two matches down, RSL has picked up two wins (3-1 in CCL play over Toronto FC, and 1-0 over the Chicago Fire in MLS play) and now have perhaps the toughest match of the batch.
Travelling overseas for a match just 4 days after a tough league match isn't easy, it is even harder when you have to find a way to get to Panama to face Arabe Unido. How hard is that, well 14 hours from here to there for starts and that is a long trip for anyone (you can get from Salt Lake to London in less time). Then you have to face a team that left your stadium a month ago mad at the world, they thought RSL did them wrong, the officials did them wrong, and the world in general doing them wrong. How upset were they? Well you might want to as the folks who had to clean up the visiting locker room after that match.
more after the jump:
So now they are the sorta home team, and one has to wonder if we can expect to see them lay down until the stretcher comes out on multiple (8 or 9 times in the last match) occasions? What do I mean by sorta home team, well Arabe Unido play their league matches at Estadio Armando Dely Valdes in Colon Panama, but that stadium only seats 4,000 people and I believe wasn't approved by CONCACAF for play, so the match will actually be played in Panama City at Estadio Rommel Fernández which seats over 25,000 and is home to the Panamanian national team and a couple of club teams. This means that nobody is really sure how many people will show up to the match and the crowd might be a bit less hostile.
So having seen Arabe play a couple weeks ago, I can say they have a couple very talented players on their team but overall it is clear that the team that had to lay down to slow down their match against RSL, and then got beat 6-0 by Cruz Azul may be in over the heads. Of course RSL will need to do something they have become good at, they will need to make some history. They would need to get their first win outside of the US. They would need to become just the 5th team in MLS history to get a win in Central America.
All of these are things that RSL should be able to do, the only player who showed that he was able to hang with RSL is Armando Cooper. It is a bit of a shame that we won't be able to watch this match live as FSC will only be showing it on tape delay at 9pm,
but you can listen to it live on ESPN 700 Sports. It should be interesting and a result would be a great way to keep the 13 days streak going.
OFF MY SOAPBOX