Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Can MLS Advance?

Here's what the three MLS teams need to do this week to make it into the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League:

Toronto FC
Down a goal after their home leg, things look fairly bleak. These results would get them through:
  • A win by two goals or more
  • A scoring draw with two or more goals
Winning by one goal would get them to extra time, but if they couldn't get a goal in the first leg, chances are they won't in the return leg either. With their experience parking the bus in front of the goal from last year's tournament, I expect Colin Clarke's men to advance.

DC United
The 1-1 tie at RFK didn't completely kill their chances of advancing, but they absolutely have to score in El Salvador. They advance with:
  • A win
  • A scoring draw with two or more goals
It doesn't sound much better than Toronto's plight, but any scoring draw gets them to extra time and potentially into penalties.

New York Red Bulls
OK -- hands up if you expected the Red Bulls to have the best chance of advancing to the group stage... Mrs. Osorio, you can put your hand down now. Coming away with a 2-2 tie in their away leg was a huge result. There are many ways NY can advance:
  • A win
  • Any draw with less than two goals scored
A loss still ruins things for NYRB, but even a 2-2 tie only forces extra time. If the Red Bulls can keep from scoring another own goal, they just might make it through.

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