Monday, July 27, 2009

How Will MLS Fare in the Prelims?

There are three MLS teams competing in the Preliminary Round of the Champions League. Sadly these opening games look like ripe for more MLS failure.

DC United takes on LA Firpo of El Salvador. This year's DC side seems deeper than last year's edition, and MLS changed things around a bit so they weren't competing in both this tournament and the Superliga. Firpo is a good team, but I expect DC to slip past them into the group stage.

Wednesday sees Toronto FC open their series against the Puerto Rico Islanders. While Toronto is a decent side, but they still suffer from a lack of reliable goal scoring from their forwards. Unfortunately they have drawn a talented Islanders side that showed last year that they have the goods to make a deep run into the tournament. Unless Ali Gerba immediately meshes with his new teammates, this looks like a win for the boys in orange from Puerto Rico.

This brings us to the sad, sad spectacle of the New York Red Bulls. On pace for the worst season ever in MLS, they take on Trinidad and Tobago's W Connection. I give NY very little hope in this matchup even though they have one of the weakest opponents in the opening rounds. Truthfully I kind of hope they lose this series... otherwise we'll have to watch them suck it up for six games in the group stage against much tougher competition.

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