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Crew, Real Salt Lake keep MLS perfect in CONCACAF Champions League groups

CrewMunicipal (GettyImages)

The Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake opened their CONCACAF Champions League group stage campaigns in strong fashion on Wednesday with a pair of home victories against Central American competition.

The Crew held off Guatemalan side CD Municipal, 1-0, on the strength of a stingy defensive performance and a 14th-minute goal from Emmanuel Ekpo to win its first match in Group B. Ekpo hadn't scored a goal in more than a year, but the Nigerian midfielder delivered a beautiful solo effort. Here are highlights from the match.

In Utah, Real Salt Lake needed a stoppage time penalty kick from Alvaro Saborio to defeat Panamanian side Arabe Unido, 2-1, in a match marred by time-wasting from the Central Americans. Arabe Unido tried blatant time-wasting tactics to hold on to a draw after going down to ten men following a red card, but a last-second foul in the penalty area on Nelson Gonzalez set up Saborio for his second goal of the night, earning RSL the victory. Here are highlights from the match.

The win puts RSL into a tie atop Group C with Toronto FC, which downed Cruz Azul on Tuesday.

In other CONCACAF Champions League action on Wednesday, Santos Laguna rolled past Joe Public, 5-2, while Salvadoran side CD FAS held Mexican club Toluca to a scoreless draw.

CONCACAF Champions League action resumes on Thursday, with the Seattle Sounders looking to improve Major League Soccer's record to 4-0 in the group stage with a victory against CD Marathon in Honduras.

What did you think of the performances by the Crew and RSL? Did you enjoy seeing Arabe Unido lose after all the time-wasting? Think Seattle can make it 4-0 for MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I was at the RSL match last night, I asked some AU fans behind me if they were embarrassed to root for a team like that. They just shrugged their shoulders (I don’t know if that was because they didn’t have an answer or they didn’t understand me?)I was certainly embarrassed on their behalf.

  2. I was at the RSL game last night too, and saying the crowd was livid doesn’t even begin to describe the mood there! I was extremely proud of RSL’s performance and completely disgusted by AU’s performance. Apparently AU trashed their locker room before departing post-game. That just seals it for me – I believe the team should be ejected from the CONCACAF tournament, nothing else is punishment enough for their behavior.

    I’ve been scouring the internet for reviews and videos from the game last night, hoping that the rest of the soccer world can be shown how disgraceful the game was but alas, the coverage just hasn’t been very comprehensive. This sport deserves better management and better officiating. Teams like RSL are out there playing a clean game and they deserve to have the leagues and associations do their damndest to protect the integrity of the game!

    RSL Manager Jason Kreis said it best in his post-game comments: “I think tonight was a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with our game”

  3. Ives, I think the RSL game deserves a little more attention than that measly paragraph tacked onto the end your Crew highlight. Seriously, that game is worthy of it’s own post if for no other reason that it was one of the most disgusting flop-fests in history.

    I was in the stadium. Fans were livid. We lost count of how many times the stretcher crew came out onto the pitch to retrieve an injured Arabe Unido player, only to have that “injured” player pop up once over the sideline and start begging to be let back in. It was a minimum of 6 stretcher carries for that game, probably more like 8-10. Like I said, we lost count. The bulk of the cards came at the end with Arabe Unido’s time killing tactics and a second AU player was ejected during stoppage time after receiving a second yellow (wasting time).

    This was a truly bizarre game. The highlights show NONE OF THIS. The diving, flopping, and faked injuries were way beyond any normal level of theatrics (if there is such a thing). TWO red cards, EIGHT minutes of stoppage time, and the stretcher crew working overtime, well, you’re not capturing the full story here.


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