Win and advance.
Real Salt Lake can become the lone surviving Major League Soccer team in the CONCACAF Champions League, and has a chance to reach the CCL semifinals, with a win tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium against the Columbus Crew (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Columbus has that same chance to carry the MLS flag into the semifinals, but will be a considerable underdog on the road. Tonight's match is a battle for respect for a rebuilding Columbus side, but it is a potential first step toward a dream season for an RSL club with high aspirations.
Columbus gave Real Salt Lake fits, though not as many as referee Jair Marrufo, in the 0-0 first-leg draw at Crew Stadium, but the patchwork Crew will find the going much tougher at Rio Tinto Stadium, where RSL has been virtually unbeatable since the stadium opened in 2008 (the club is riding a 33-match home unbeaten streak).
If Real Salt Lake is going to win, it will need to do so without suspended starting defenders Nat Borchers and Tony Beltran, who were issued red cards in the first leg. Columbus should be looking to exploit central defender Rauwshan McKenzie with forwards Jeff Cunningham and Andres Mendoza.
The two sides played an ugly first match at Crew Stadium, with the bitterly cold conditions and three red cards rendering the game a mess. The draw leaves RSL with the task of winning at home, where it hasn't lost since 2009.
If Columbus is to pull the upset, and the Crew can do so with a scored draw as well as a victory, it will need to do so without injured star defender Chad Marshall as well as goalkeeper Wil Hesmer, among others. Rookies Rich Balchan and Cole Grossman started and played 90 minutes in the first leg and both should play key roles again tonight.
Ultimately, RSL should be strong enough in its attack to break down a patchwork Columbus defense, but the Crew has some dangerous forwards who could capitalize on a short-handed RSL defense.
Tonight's winner will advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, where they will meet the winner of the Deportivo Saprissa-CD Olimpia Champions League quarterfinal. Saprissa won their first leg, 1-0, with the second leg set for Wednesday.
You can follow tonight's action here on SBI, where we will have a live commentary running during the match.
Who do you see winning tonight's game? think Columbus can pull the upset, or is Real Salt Lake too strong at home?
Share your thoughts on tonight's match below.