Final Champions League Group Games Have MLS Heavily Involved

Final Champions League Group Games Have MLS Heavily Involved

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 18, 2011
  • 2011/12 CCL, Features

FC Dallas and Toronto FC met yet again this season tonight in the CCL. (Getty Images)

It is hard to believe but also pretty damn cool to think we could very well have four Major League Soccer clubs in the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. We already have one in the Seattle Sounders and after this week we could have three more.

The tiebreakers for each group make things ├╝ber complicated though.

Tonight FC Dallas and Toronto FC meet to potentially decide who leaves Group C to the knockout round. There are some potential tiebreakers that could come into play should Pumas lose to Tauro this week and TFC-FCD tie their match tonight. Yes, all four clubs in Group C could end with eight points – something that would be absolutely crazy to see. (Here’s a full break-down of all the tiebreakers, some are more complicated than others.)

We’ll definitely know more tonight as Dallas and Toronto play one another for the millionth time this season. Yes, I exaggerate that number but playing a club out of your conference for the 4th (and a half) time in one season is pretty remarkable. Usually playing a club four times in one year means you see them in the semifinal round of the playoffs. This has been a special case for Dallas and Toronto this year to see each other so many times.

Later this week we have LA and Colorado attempting to reach the knockout rounds as well. Their path isn’t nearly as easy as it has been for the Sounders but both should advance with wins – though LA could run into some crazy tiebreakers as well in their group.

LA could have a decent shot at things – as they play the one team in their group that has failed to get any points so far. A win against Motagua in Honduras get the Galaxy into the knockout stages. A tie or a loss complicated things.

Colorado’s path to the knockout stage goes through Mexico – a place that as never been truly kind to MLS teams until this year. The Rapids haven’t really shown that they are willing enough to put a major effort into this tournament but having clinched a playoff berth over the weekend you have to figure Gary Smith will finally use his full team in this one to get points. A win or a draw should get the Rapids though as long as in the other match there is no winner.

Sadly enough however we could end the week with only one MLS team in the knockout stage. A lot can happen over the course of the next couple days but as MLS fans we gotta root for our clubs. It stinks a little to see that Dallas and Toronto both can’t advance to the knockout round (no tiebreaker works out in that way unfortunately) but if the league can get four of the knockout round spots, then we will be on our way to some solid improvement in this competition.