- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 28, 2009
- 10 Comments
- 2009/10 CCL, CONCACAF Champions League, W Connection
It is that time again. Late July into the start of August. For a few Major League Soccer clubs it means their schedule is about to get a little more jammed. Columbus and Houston have to wait to find out who is in their groups for CONCACAF Champions League play while Toronto, New York and DC United begin their quest to save face for the league in the play-in rounds tonight (DC), tomorrow (Toronto) and on Thursday (NY).
We all recall the terrible run by the MLS sides a year ago in this tournament. New England was embarrassed in the play-in round from Trinidad and Tobago side Joe Public. Chivas USA didn’t fare much better against Panamanian side Tauro. In the group stages DC United failed to win a game while only getting one point in the round with a lovely goal differential of -9.
Houston was the slight saving grace for the league but they also failed to move past the quarterfinal round when they lost to Mexican side Atlante.
To say the very least the next week and a half for DC, Toronto and New York mean a lot to not just those clubs but to the league as a whole.
DC is enjoying a decent season this year. A drop in the ball in this tournament like last year would be a big disappointment to them and to the league. Especially since the league still views them as the golden standard of clubs here. Tonight we will see exactly where DC stands in this competition.
Toronto is kind of a wild card for the league. They face off against the lone USL-1 side Puerto Rico Islanders in what should be a very interesting two-game series. We all remember the run the Islanders went on in last year’s tournament. I think it is safe to say a lot of expectations are high up in Toronto with the Reds in this tournament. A solid run by them could go a very long way in helping the league’s image out, and Canada’s for that matter.
The one good thing for MLS fans when it comes to thinking about New York in this tournament, even though they are on a historical run of being even worst club this year is this tournament is ALL this club has to play for now. These two games against T&T side W Connection is it.
Now to say they can turn their season around with these two games may be a little much. Some think they can and others think that the season has gone this poorly so far, why would these two games be any different?
I’m on the fence with New York in this tournament. I’d say I have very low expectations for them and so should you. I know we want our MLS clubs to show up strong and New York should have no excuse to make these two games priority number one but I just don’t see a reason in expecting them to do anything more than what we have already seen them do this season.
We can all debate it here but until we see how each side fares tonight, it’s all a guessing game for us.