Major League Soccer has taken some major strides during the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, but as the final games of group play approach, there is still work to be done before crowning this campaign as a great success.
Only one MLS team, Seattle, has clinched a place in the knockout stage so far, but that could all change Tuesday night. FC Dallas and Toronto FC square off in a crucial Group C battle in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), with the winner moving on to the knockout round and the loser going home.
TFC needs a win to advance, but Dallas could still move on with a win or draw. Both teams are level on seven points entering the match, and if the two teams play to a draw, Dallas would remain in front via tiebreaker. That wouldn't necessarily guarantee entry into the next round, though.
There is a scenario in which both teams would get eliminated if they draw and Tauro defeats Pumas UNAM along with a series of tiebreakers going against the MLS sides. Suffice it to say, both teams are operating under the "win-and-we're-in" mentality.
Seattle, meanwhile, has already wrapped up its place in the knockout stage but can clinch first place in its group with a win or draw against Monterrey (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).
The Sounders, riding high off of Kasey Keller's farewell match over the weekend, can exact even more revenge on Monterrey for last year's CCL fate by dealing Los Rayados a loss for the second time in this competition. Should that happen and Comunicaciones defeat Herediano in the other Group D finale, then Monterrey, the defending CCL champion, would be eliminated from contention.
The other two remaining MLS teams, Los Angeles and Colorado, will get their chances to seek qualification in the next round later this week.
How do you see tonight's matches unfolding? How many (and which) MLS teams do you see making it to the knockout stage of the CCL?
Share your thoughts below.