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CONCACAF Champions League Group Stages continue tonight


The second round of CONCACAF Champions League group games continues tonight, and all three MLS clubs find themselves in action. So far through the early stages of the tournament, no team has managed to come away with a draw.

Last week was certainly a positive start for U.S. teams, with both Columbus and Houston getting off to winning starts in a difficult competition. United, the only team of the three on the road last week, dropped a 3-1 result despite performing admirably over 80 minutes. Here's a quick look at each of tonight's matchups after the jump.

D.C. United vs. Toluca (8pm, FSC)

United returns home to host Mexican club Toluca, still looking for their first-ever win in the CONCACAF Champions League. Their opponents Toluca, defeated San Juan Jabloteh last week and will look to maintain their unblemished mark. Hard to know what to expect from D.C. — they've been struggling for a win in all competitions, with their last victory in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals back on July 21.

Houston vs. Deportivo Arabe Unido (8pm, FSC next-day delay)

The first road test in CONCACAF takes the Dynamo down to Panama, where they'll face a tough Arabe club that defeated Pachuca 4-1 last week. While it's still early in the competition, a second win would put Houston in a strong position to qualify for the quarterfinals. Tonight could be a chance for new signing Luis Angel Landin to make an impact on the international stage.

Columbus Crew vs. Cruz Azul (10pm, Telefutura)

Certainly the most difficult opponent for any MLS club as Columbus heads to Mexico City to take an a dangerous Cruz Azul team. The Mexican club will be looking to bounce back after dropping a 3-2 loss to Club America over the weekend. Like the national team, MLS clubs have struggled against their southern counterparts, and it'll be worth seeing if the Crew can reverse that trend.

What do you think of tonight's CCL matches? Can D.C. finally win a game? Can Columbus or Houston get a result on the road? Share your thoughts below.


  1. John, may be so, but there is a world of difference between staying the Waldor Astoria and finding a decent reasonably priced hotel that gives the team the optimal opportunity to prepare. I do agree that accomodations are probably lower on the list of priorities than I originally listed it.

  2. Gene….Beckham wanting the team to stay at the Waldorf Astoria instead of a Sheraton is not a reasonable request. Accomodations are the least of the problems.

  3. This tournament shows me a couple of things about the MLS. First, the rosters got to get bigger. Second, player accomodations got to get better (see the Beckham experiment for description of where the players stay on the road; I doubt the accomodations during this tournament are any better). Third, we’ve got a lot way to go in terms of getting decent depth on MLS teams. I’d certainly consider not expanding for a while after Portland and Vancouver are in.

    I don’t think taking this tournament for granted is the answer. MLS players have to get some experience playing club international football on the road. They can’t develop otherwise. What the MLS needs to do is give them tools to succeed. And we need to be patient, which is pretty difficult considering the Crew just got raped 0:5 by Cruz Azul.

  4. Marshall got his foot on that one. Keeper would’ve preferred he left it alone though. Own goal for three goal deficit.

    Again, give the 4th US spot to the USL champs.

  5. why do MLS teams waste their times with Concacrap tournaments designed to enrich crook Jack Warner and Fat Slob Blazer and his parakeet.

  6. Crew have been playing better last 20 minutes, but down a man, it’s over. They just need to show they can hang with these guys and build confidence for the match at home. I have to say Cruz Azul is very organized and closes quickly on defense. Even Schelotto’s passing has looked ordinary at best.

  7. Yeah, it’s interesting when the official CONCACAF online play by play guy first says he can’t figure out why Ashe got a red, then notes that Holden gets two yellows within “a few seconds” for dissent. I’m not saying it’s impossible to justify two yellows for dissent on the same action, but it’s certainly suspicious. I am going to be watching the broadcast tomorrow, that’s for sure.

  8. Dynamo draw 1-1…gave up a 90th minute goal. Man, thought we finally were going to get our W. 5 reds in all. Dynamo were playing 8 vs 9 at the end of the game. Holden got sent off for supposed dissention (two consecutive yellows for dissension within one minute). Unbelievable. Ought to be interesting to watch tomorow.

  9. Crew self-destructing and down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes. Playing like ass on defense and no continuity in the midfield. The Crew can get away with 2 d-mids in MLS because so few teams have creative attackers that a moderately competent d-mid can also play forward. That crap doesn’t work internationally, and Columbus has no one pushing forward to keep the defense honest. Cruz’s defense has seen the ball maybe twice yet.

    First goal was inexcusable laziness by O’Rourke – you *always* go with the runner on a give-and-go. Second was a great strike, but the space was given by Columbus d-mids being caught out trying to push forward. Both goals are squarely on the midfield; the defense never got a chance to get involved. Marshall and Brunner have actually played rather well.

    The Crew need to regain some possession and connect a few passes beyond the midfield circle. Might come to nothing, but it’ll at least make Cruz work for it. Schelotto has barely been involved and I’d be surprised to see him go the full 90. This is when Noonan would be good to have back as he could play a similar role.

  10. I was at the game 10 years ago when DC beat Toluca to win the Concacaf Champions Cup and at the home opener against LA in 1996 and about 150 or more other home games. Tonight was the first time I ever left a game at halftime.

    The reserve team starting lineup was a disgrace and a crystal clear signal that DC United’s front office does not care about this tournament. I’m OK with starting a fair number of reserves but DC has a wealth of wide attacking players w Fred, Quaranta, Pontius, Wallace, and Szetela available and we start BOTH Ely Allen and McTavish on the flanks? And we start our weakest starting defender Burch in a new 4-4-2 formation alongside 3 other new or sub-level players? Sure enough, Hadwaytoomuchtequila was terrified when he was confronted with a soccer ball about 5 minutes into the game and Janicki’d a gift-wrapped goal to Toluca. And of course, Soehn feels he has to sub out Allen for Fred well before the 1st half ends and has now brought on Quaranta and Namoff for McT and Habanothergoal. Great decisions on that starting lineup.

    Will Chang, Kevin Payne, Dave Kasper and Tom Soehn may feel great relief and satisfaction after pinching off the unwanted burden that is this tournament. But they need to know they took their dump right on their fans.

    It’s much more important to focus on marketing campaigns like “We Win Trophies”!! So, if DC wins next week they may qualify for another international tournament they would rather not play in. Woo Hoo!

    Now that the team front office has flushed this tournament down the toilet at least I don’t have to bother going to any more games. I was stupid enough to buy a ticket tonight but wasn’t stupid enough to buy season tickets over the off-season. I’ll go to some tailgates but I’m not setting foot back inside RFK this year unless it’s for a playoff game.

  11. Between the Champions Cup and the Champions League, DC United has managed to ALWAYS fall apart. And fade away late in the MLS season. I respect their tradition, but I’m tired of seeing these type of performances in CONCACAF competitions.

    Best case scenario for MLS is to have Columbus, Houston, Seattle, and Los Angeles in the Champions League next year.

    Houston – habitually one of the best 2 or 3 teams in talent and depth.

    Columbus – is joining Houston at the top in talent and depth.

    LA Galaxy – may lose both of their stars, but their fans are craving success again and the franchise will definitely spend some money in the offseason. AND Bruce Arena.

    Seattle – the league’s second most famous DP, tons of talent, Qwest Field, and Sigi Schmid.

  12. Houston up 1-0 in the 80th! 3 red cards, 2 to Arabe. Can’t wait to watch this tomorrow night. Keep it up Dynamo, get that win on the road. Then go Crew!

  13. Who’s making the decisions from the truck at DC? They’ve twice gone to a meaningless tackle while one team was attacking the goal.

  14. god mls teams have no depth. its amazing United first half was horrible ELy Allen Seriously? good thing he came out guy needs to go back to USL.

  15. El Naranja: I agree with you totally. I also feel that this crew team has more depth and talent than the 07′ Dynamo. I can only hope the crew play just as well as the Dynamo did in 07′. Here’s to hoping the MLS can get a sweep tonight. For some reason I still feel like Columbus and Houston have a better chance on the road then DC does at home. Pick it up United.

  16. Massive –

    The 07 Dynamo team was nothing to sneeze at when they took on (and were 5 minutes away from defeating) Pachuca, the best club in the Americas (North or South) at the time.

    MLS has had the chance to get that first win in Mexico (such as last year when Houston tied Pumas 4-4) but it has always slipped through our fingers. Crew have the talent to get the win, but I think the record will haunt them to a loss.

  17. For the first time a very good MLS team (Columbus) will get a chance to play a very good Mexican team. Columbus didn’t play this past weekend and play NYRB next. Look for Columbus to put their best 11 on the field. Should be a good game. As a side note, Cruz Azulo is 0-2 this year at home in their league. Maybe Columbus is catching them at the right time.

  18. I liked how good Torres was deep in midfield next to Correa. He was EXTREMELY unlucky not to find the net when his shot rattled off the crossbar not even a minute into the game. His distribution out to the flank led was the second to last pass on the the first and second, while his layoff for G.Torres assisted the fourth. He’s an amazingly composed player and I love what I’m seeing from him. If anything, a chance against El Salvador is deserved for his form and playing time.

  19. Here in DC, we know–everybody knows that DC United neesd to get 3 points tonight. it’s that simple. We are @RFK. We gotta get 3. Anything less will be a big disappointment for many of the fans here.

  20. Last week I travelled to with some members of the DC Division of the Puerto Rico Islanders Foreign Legion to Columbus to watch the match and I was very impressed with the Crew. Sure, they have a very good team and easily won the match–that was no surprise. What impressed me was their approach. They played pretty much the first team (minus Gaven and maybe somebody else). I don’t know what they will do on the road or when they face Cruz Azul and Saprissa but they weren’t messing around last Tuesday.

    Instead of whining about fixture congestion (what MLS or USL club playing in CCL doesn’t have fixture congestion this time a year?)–they went out and handled biznez.

    Hopefully we will play them better down in Bayamon.

  21. I was at the DC-Toluca game 10 years ago and will be at tonight’s game, too.

    But it’s hard to know what to expect from either team, commitment-wise, in this competition. I hope to see a fairly strong DC team mixing regular starters with a few subs.

    Toluca is a better team than Cruz Azul now but Columbus has the tougher opponent due to playing in Mexico City. But again, it’s hard to know how much of each team’s Best XI will see action.

  22. Tonight’s United game will show us how seriously they are taking the competition. With an important game at Chicago this weekend, will they risk tired legs for a win against Toluca? I hope so, but if they lose tonight they’ll probably give up on CONCACAF altogether and focus on the league and USOC.

    Ps. The last time these teams met was in 1998 when DC beat them at RFK for the Champions Cup.

  23. Sorry guys, no Landin for Houston tonight, he is cup tied since he was on the Cruz Azul roster for the earlier stage. Expect to see him and his fresh legs in Colorado Sunday though.


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