I could have watched the last five minutes of that South Park episode* rather than several hours of preseason soccer and drawn the same lesson. Houston/Los Angeles aren't as good/bad as they looked/smelled.
Oh, and for as long as this tournament is held (assuming we didn't see the last one ever), Australian teams are going to stink at it. Sydney looked like what they were - a team disappointed at missing their championships having their vacations delayed for ugly games against teams they didn't care about or respect.
We talked about the 60's Astroturf that the Aloha Bowl has to complete that retro feel (that's why it's still in there, right?), but I don't remember anyone touching on how the field was crowned. It was pretty noticeable on my TV screen, and I'm surprised Gamba adjusted to it as well as they did. Turns out when you make accurate passes, it's not a big an issue when trying to catch up to the ball.
It's a little early to write off Houston, not that I didn't snicker and giggle most of the game. The Dynamo also got off to a bad start last year. Besides, even if Bobby Boswell's talent has completely evaporated, and even if Steppingstone Ianni really is as bad as he looked against Gamba, Kinnear can still put in Robinson and Waibel. Wow, MLS defenses have been pretty lousy recently, because Robinson, Barrett, Mulrooney and Waibel is probably still one of the better back lines in the league. Yeah, Houston will miss Ryan Cochrane, a lot, but they won't give up six again any time soon. Also going to go way, way out on a limb and say that the Dynamo look better with De Rosario...although De Rosario didn't look good until late November last year. The Dynamo are all about timing.
It's temporarily safe to wear Galaxy gear out in public again. Blah blah blah Beckham Beckham Beckham, but it looks like he can turn anyone into a forward. Okay, not Edson Buddle. I feel good for Ely Allen - for the rest of his life, he can show pictures of that sweet goal he scored off of service from the most famous player in the world. I don't know if he'll make the team, but what a great moment. That said, if the Galaxy's opening day lineup contains more than three guys from the PPC, Real Salt Lake can start making playoff plans.
Oh, and hold off on the letter writing campaign for your team to sign Bare. Unless you really think the key to your MLS Cup this year is being able to beat Pat Ianni, Troy Roberts and such.
...okay, the guy in the Celtic shirt celebrating with the Gamba fans after every Dynamo goal. Did he travel all that way simply to heckle ex-Ranger John Spencer? Because I was cheering against Houston too, but after the third time they cut to him after a Gamba goal I was ready to buy the Special Edition 2-disc Blu-Ray DVD set of him being stung by a scorpion.
*You know. The one where they decide that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Yeah, that one.