DC Advances, TFC Stumbles

DC Advances, TFC Stumbles

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 5, 2009
  • 2009/10 CCL, CONCACAF Champions League

Well one decent thing happened last night, okay for some it may be two, DC United advanced to the group stage of the CONCACF Champions League with a win over Luis Angel Firpo. Christian Gomez scored United’s crucial equalizer on a stunning free kick, then helped seal the deal when the game reached penalty kicks.

Toronto FC on the other hand wasn’t so lucky in their quest to be the first MLS side to advance in the play-in round of the CCL. USL-1 side Puerto Rico Islanders once again held strong, posting another shutout in the 0-0 draw.

DC’s series victory means the club will now take part in the Champions League Group B, with Toluca, CD Marathon and the winner of the San Francisco (Panama) San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago) series, which San Francisco leads after a 2-0 first-leg victory.

The New York Red Bulls will look to join D.C. United, the Columbus Crew and the Houston Dynamo in the CCL group stages with either a win or a tie (NY cannot give up more than a goal in a draw) tonight against Trinidadian club W Connection. The Red Bulls posted a 2-2 tie in the first leg of their series.

Some may say the win may be good for DC while others will be quick to note the many additions to their already heavy schedule. Some are already wondering if it will be too heavy for a club thick in the playoff race. Just take a look for yourself:

Aug. 15: at Toronto
Aug. 18: at Marathon (Honduras)
Aug. 22: vs. Galaxy
Aug. 26: vs. Toluca (Mexico)
Aug. 29: at Chicago
Sept. 2: vs. Seattle (U.S. Open Cup final)
Sept. 5: at Dallas
Sept. 9: vs. Kansas City (rescheduled because of Madrid game)
Sept. 12: vs. Seattle
Sept. 15: at T&T or Panama club

That’s 10 games in month’s time, including five road trips. And we aren’t talking a road trip to New York or New England, these are heavy trips like from Canada to Honduras. The calendar thins out from mid-September until the end of the regular season in late October, but you get the idea.

Toronto on the other hand may have just been given a slight blessing with the loss. Sure they don’t advance to a tournament that they may have had to chance to do well in given the amount of international players they have on their roster. Instead of a heavy schedule like DC, they will be able to focus on staying in contention to reach the playoffs for the first time in club history.

So what do you make of DC’s win last night? Happy for them or expecting the schedule to be too much? And for TFC, think it was a blessing so the club can now focus on the playoffs and maybe even MLS Cup?