OTF's CONCACAF editor Austin Fido brings you most of what you need to know about the upcoming CCL quarterfinals...Eight teams and six weeks left in our regional showpiece tournament. Here's a look at the quarterfinal match-ups, including a reminder of how each club got to this stage, and an update on what they've been doing while CCL has been on hiatus.
CARSON, Calif.â€”Injuries, illness and a busy schedule meant a mostly reserve lineup for the Los
Angeles Galaxy in their Wednesday night CONCACAF Champions League matchâ€”nine of the starters were
under 23, including five rookies.
But that didn't stop the youngsters from crushing the Puerto Rico Islanders 4-0.
Poor Santos and his savage heart... so much passion!ï»¿ï»¿Those of you who frequent
this site... hello you three... know that Monday is reserved for our STARTING 11 feature but as
there is an unusual Tuesday fixture this week it's "Buy None - Get Two Free" today. All of the
STARTING 11 you love with a dose of THE MATCHUP you kind of enjoy with none of that pesky AFTER 90
you have to tolerate!
The Dynamo's return to the CONCACAF Champions League begins tonight with their first group stage
match against C.D. FAS. It's the Dynamo's third match ever in El Salvador (0-1-1) and their second
match at the Estadio CuscatlÃ¡n ( a1-1 draw vs. Luis Angel Firpo in the 2008-09 CCL).
Just in case you aren't familiar the CCL, here's the basics.
When Eddie Johnson skied the final PK of the US Open Cup final over the bar, it gave Sporting KC
their first trophy under their new name, and the team's first trophy since 2004. Before we continue
on, let's relive that night again with a video that still gives me goosebumps.
Caledonia AIA came to Seattle for their first CONCACAF Champions League match in their history.
If they were expecting a large crowd of cheering supporters that Seattle has become known for they
were in for a surprise. Less than 8,000 fans showed up in Seattle to watch Seattle Sounders FC
start a new CCL campaign.
This is one of those games that is hard to scout. Not many know anything about Caledonia AIA,
those that do work for soccer teams or agencies. The good news is that the Seattle Sounders have
plenty of contacts. They also clearly did their prep. For the fan, this game features an opponent
that tries to bring the ball up the field on the ground and is willing to play a high pace
Scouting Caribbean teams can be a challenge. Outside the two that participate within the
American system (Puerto Rico Islanders, Antigua Barracuda FC) the other leagues aren't available on
television and highlights are hard to find. With the upcoming 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League
opponent being Caledonia AIA the Seattle Sounders are at an advantage because both Ezra Hendrickson
and Kurt Schmid actively scout players from Trinidad & Tobago.
After a disheartening loss versus Sporting Kansas City in league play back on July 31, the Timbers turned their attention to their CONCACAF Champions League opener at home versus CD Dragon from El Salvador. Portland took an early lead, but when the offense stalled and Dragon pulled even off a counter, it was time for the Maestro to save the day.
A late breaking tidbit of news was announced on December 13 that will add more matches to an already busy summer and fall for the Portland Timbers. The CONCACAF Executive Committee approved a change in the selection criteria for their Champions League tournament for 2014 - 2015 that will give the Portland Timbers their first ever berth in the competition.
Every club is pretty thirsty for an MLS Cup, but the Sounders might be the thirstiest. It's fair to say no club has accomplished more and stands without a Phil Anschutz Trophy. Maybe the Revolution, but New England's nowhere near it right now. The Sounders are in range of the victorious aromas, hence the salivation.
An MLS side had never opened the trap door on a Mexican one in the CCL knockout stages. Before tonight. Seattle completed a Barca-esque comeback on Tigres in the CCL quarters, turning a 2-0 aggregate deficit into a 3-2 win with three magnificent goals in the second half. The Sounders await the winner of the Houston-Santos second leg, which Houston leads 1-0 headed down to Mexico.
Montreal looks to continue their quest for a playoff berth against D.C. United. (Getty
The make or break part of the season is here. At this point teams can earn a lot or nothing at
all. Most teams are hitting that final stretch of games that will either put them in the playoffs
or will put them in a position to have a high draft pick in next January's SuperDraft.
Teams around MLS at the first third of the season were worried about the forward pairing of
Thiery Henry and Kenny Cooper. They were as good as can be. It was a big-small style of pairing
with Henry playing behind Cooper and doing it as well as couple be done. Then emerged Chris
Wondolowski and his duel pairings.
The United States pulled off a historic win tonight in Mexico City, winning the first game by the
men's national team at the Azteca Stadium. A goal by Michael Orozco Fiscal in the 79th minute, set
up by a great run from Brek Shea and a back heal from Terrance Boyd gave the US a 1-0 win. As a
whole it wasn't really a game the US deserved as they showed very little going forward for much of
The ten day game break is officially over! Well, as of tonight it is. Which is nice because,
despite the poor results and general low morale, I still found myself severely missing the Portland
Timbers. It's breaks like that that make me wonder how I ever get through an entire off season.
In any case, today marks the first of two road games: first in Toronto tonight and then this
Sunday in New York against the New York Red Bulls.
Today CONCACAF announced changes in the Champions League format starting with the 2017-18 cycle the Rapids have qualified for. Instead of playing in a group stage this fall, MLS teams will move right to a 16-team knockout tournament held in Feb-May of 2018. The 4 MLS qualifiers will be joined in the tournament by 4 Mexican teams, the Canadian champion, the 5 major Central American league champs (all but Belize and Nicaragua), the Caribbean Club Champion, and the winner of the fall 2017 CCL tournament.
Ok, ok. It may be a bad pun but it makes more sense than the "3 Questions" moniker. Why, you may
Ask? Well, most exchanges are more than 3 questions, and some are one sided only (like today's). To
me, it made more sense to re-name question exchanges rather than using an incorrect title. So, from
now on, my questions exchanges will now be Fireside Chats.
"And second half action is about to get under way.."ï»¿SPORTING KC VS.
TORONTO ã€€ LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET TV: SPORTSNET ONE ----RADIO: THE FAN 590
ã€€ THE KICKABOUT:
While we are definitely not implying that any member of Sporting KC is involved with any kind of
doping - someone should really be looking into that Lance Armstrong endorsed stadium of theirs.