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Four MLS Clubs set for CONCACAF Champions League group stage


The CONCACAF Champions League group stage kicks off tonight with Toronto FC the first of four MLS teams vying for a place in the knockout rounds.

Real Salt Lake, Columbus and Seattle are all still alive in the 16-team field. Though the Los Angeles Galaxy was sent packing by the Puerto Rico Islanders, MLS will still be well represented.

Toronto FC takes on Cruz Azul tonight (8pm, Telefutura/Galavision), while the Columbus Crew opens group play on Wednesday against CD Municipal (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel). Real Salt Lake also opens on Wednesdy night, against Arabe Unido (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel). The Seattle Sounders make their group stage debut on Thursday against CD Marathon (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

In case you missed it, here is a piece I wrote for Fox Soccer on MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League, which includes the fact that no MLS team has reached the final of the Champions Cup or Champions League since the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2000.

Here's a rundown of the groups MLS teams will be competing in, and yes, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC have been placed in the same group:

Group AReal Salt Lake, Arabe Unido, Cruz Azul, Toronto FC

Group BColumbus Crew, CD Municipal, Santos Laguna, Joe Public

Group C– Monterrey, Saprissa, Seattle Sounders, CD Marathon

Group D– Toluca, Olimpia, Puerto Rico Islanders, CD FAS


What do you think of the MLS team's chances in the Champions League? Can you see Real Salt Lake or Columbus (or Seattle) making a deep run? Still trying to figure out how the Galaxy got eliminated?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I sort of disagree. People seem to be saying that people argue against the use of the word solely because of other people’s perception of it (and this is certainly a factor because it comes up often). Well isn’t that the way any word becomes offensive? Every word is just a word until people start to use it in a derogatory way and other people view it as offensive. I know plenty of people (mostly black) who see nothing wrong with saying the n word and others (including blacks) who think it’s ignorant regardless of the circumstances. Would one be able to use any slur because they didn’t mean anything by it? If it offends people, which it clearly does, why use it?

    Listen, I’m laid back and I don’t really care. But I have certainly heard numerous hispanics use the word “gringo” in a derogatory way

  2. What silliness. Let me just say this…if you’re going to say words like gringo you better not get pissy when you hear an epithet about your group. Me, I prefer to just keep my mouth shut with all these terms unless it’s in a comedic setting; in which case, I’m all for it. How about some consistency with the idiotic racial terms

    (SBI-Sorry man, but calling “gringo” an epithet is a stretch. It simply isn’t on par with racial slurs. I’m sure some people would try to suggest as much just to have something to argue about, but it’s a pretty weak argument.)

  3. They haven’t got a shirt sponsor yet (maybe Lowe’s) but rumor has it that Sandusky, OH’s Joe the Plumber team is ready to start action next year.

  4. Please!!! The sorest loser were the Argentinians in the Cruz Azul team.
    And let me remind you that the US has never beaten Argentina in international competition, the day that happens, if ever, you’ll find out how “classy” the Argentinians are!

  5. I can’t speak for how the word “gringo” is used in other countries, but here in Mexico it is absolutely not derogatory. It’s just the standard way to refer to people from the US, partially because “americano” can refer to anyone from the Americas, and “norteamericano” and “estadounidense” are too cumbersome.

  6. Trust me, I know how Spanish operates, lived in Chile for a couple years. Seems that people there say things that would be considered racist here, but people just don’t really take things that way. I, for one, welcome this.

  7. Mexican teams are usually sore losers. I still cannot believe they refused to exchange jerseys with Argentina after their WC loss. I am sure Messi was crushed when he did not get El Tri jersey. 🙂

  8. Another showing of how classy Cruz Azul are; after they scored, their keeper turned around and gave the TFC supporters section the finger.

    Stay classy Cruz Assul…

  9. Edwin. You make some good points but stop dissing English, Bro. Sure, Spanish is Romantic and I’ve stolen some line from Gaby and reading Don Quijote but let’s not put down English in the process of celebrating Spanish.

    Of course, I’m not a linguist. You just might be. But when I watch a movie set during the 1850’s, I can understand the actors just fine. English hasn’t changed all that much.

  10. Wow. You were going a little heavy there, don’t you think?

    Or were you just kidding with the whole “white American and the race card bit”?

    Nice to share insights but please come down on the racial, stereotyping soapbox. It come off really condescending and it’s really not pretty.

    Great example with Edgar Castillo. JT is one.

  11. Have you ever been to Toronto in August? On Sunday it was 100 degrees with the humidex. It’s a lot warmer than Seattle. Anyway we gave those Mexicans a good beating and our starting line-up only had 2 Americans in it.

  12. Boss was naturalized after living in PR. I am very happy that the federation extended the invitation to him. He played very well in the WCQ’s and I look forward to seeing him wear the jersey again when the NT program progresses.

  13. And here is to hoping all the Stuff on gringo gets erased. Someone got their panties in a bunch only seeing the term derogatory, and felt the need to defend…. Missing what I originally stated. And by the way context is what makes it wrong, just like how the “n” word came about, turned a Spainish word into English and used it as hate with an original meaning of ignorant person of African decent…..

  14. No hate, and honestly it really doesn’t bother me, but you need to get your definition of gringo updated. It’s literal meaning is uniinteligible foreigner. It is used towards people of British decent in a derogatory manner, what does that mean…. Go a head look it up, tell me I am wrong.

    Anyways if you Mexican friends are still calling you a gringo, probably aren’t your friends, as none of my Mexican friends ever call me that for some reason (or even use that word at least around me). Just funny how our PC world allows one thing, but not another.

  15. It IS garbage. Unwatchable.

    And to the ignorant morons above: Canadians for years have self-labeled themselves as “geengos” in yet another attempt to be like their usa neighbors. Mexicans haven’t fully accepted them to be greengos, so they call them frozen greengos. It’s pretty sad that people here did not know that.

  16. No trust me each culture and nation has their share of racism, just some are more expose to it than others!

    Trust me when a Mexican fan or commentator on TV says gringos if reffering to say the US game in qualifying he’s not talking just about Dempsey, Donovan and Bradley, nope Bocanegra, Gooch, Edu, Beasley, Jozy, Bornstein, Howard, Feilhaber are all in there!

    Bet you they thought the same of Reyna, Ramos and Cobi Jones! Or even Preki!

  17. If you used the usual term for illegal immigrants to a Latin person who doesn’t live in the US they probably wouldn’t care as much as you think or even notice!

    Words can be taken out of context all the time, I recall last year in January when the US was getting ready to play Mexico in Columbus, they showed Alexi Lalas comments on ESPN Deportes’ “Futbol Picante” and let me tell you those guys were furious by Alexi’s quote of “I hate them, I want to take the to Columbus and hope they freeze their BUTTS OFF!” They didn’t take it very kindly, I found myself explaining to some recently immigrated Mexican citizens that in the US that’s just an expression and a clean one too with the PC type of term and not the slang or more vulgar use of “their asses”
    Is just used differently in English then in Spanish, come on guys enough with the extra hate in this!

  18. I’m curious how is it a double standard, also I don’t know why people take a word, FROM A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LANGUAGE WHY DON’T YOU, and turn into a racial slur!

    If you don’t speak Spanish or interact with Latin people enough to know the language is hard to understand this but the language barrier is huge and the context of words often make the meanings completely different, in Spanish the detail of words, particularly adjectives is very definitive and almost anal as far as how detailed they are, it is “Romantic” language and trust me the language is very romantic like since it hasn’t lost it’s roots compared to the way English was spoken 100 years ago to now.
    Plus with almost 20 countries having different variations of words is difficult to pin point universal meanings!

  19. The difference is that gringo does not relate to the colour of your skin. Gringo is another word for someone from the United States. This is why Edgar Castillo, who happens to be of a dark complexion, is referred to as a gringo. It typical of a white Americans to pull of the race card when they hear gringo.

  20. ‘Latin’ ??

    Yeah, like Terry Boss. Their english decent american goal keeper from Oregon who is now an “Puerto-Rican footballer” Ay dios mio

    two columbians, a uruguayan, and a puerto rican does a ‘latin’ team not make.

    vamos Nate Jaqua! vamos Brad Evans!

  21. nothing strange. mexico would love the worldcup to come to the US, because el tri will be well supported. it’s their home away from home.


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