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Which MLS team has the best chance to make a deep 2011-2012 CCL run?

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The dust is still settling from Real Salt Lake's disappointing loss to Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League final, but that doesn't mean it's too early to look ahead to the 2011-2012 edition of the tournament.

The draw for this summer's preliminary round will be held May 18, and as many as three Major League Soccer teams will be involved. The Seattle Sounders (last year's U.S. Open cup winner), FC Dallas (MLS Cup runner-up) and the Canadian Championship winner, which figures to be either Toronto FC or Vancouver, will fight for the right to join the Colorado Rapids (MLS Cup winner) and Los Angeles Galaxy (Supporters' Shield winner) in the group stage.

Which of those teams has the best chance to make an extended run like Real Salt Lake? Let's take a look at the options:

The Galaxy, Sounders and Toronto FC all have CCL experience from this past year, although it wasn't necessarily positive experience.

Los Angeles was upset in the preliminary round, and Seattle and Toronto didn't make it out of the group stage. TFC actually fared the best, missing out on the knockout stage by two points and finishing behind Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul in its group with a record of 2-2-2. Seattle went 1-0-5 in its group, including two losses to eventual champion Monterrey.

Looking ahead, the Galaxy will still boast Landon Donovan, and David Beckham should be around for the group stage before his contract expires. The team has shown it has the depth capable to win league games even without its stars, but will that success translate onto the regional stage?

Seattle could be seen as a viable threat, but the long-term injury to Steve Zakuani definitely does not help the team's credibility on the regional stage. As for TFC, it doesn't have a Dwyane De Rosario-like figure to lean on like in the past and is in rebuilding mode. Should Vancouver unseat Toronto as Canadian champion, the Whitecaps would be exploring uncharted territory.

Newcomers Colorado and FC Dallas present interesting cases. Colorado showed it can hang with anybody in MLS after winning the league title last year, and its physical style of play coupled with its strong strike tandem will make the Rapids a tough out.

FC Dallas likely won't have David Ferreira for the preliminary round, meaning that just getting into the group stage could be a challenge. On its best day, FCD has proven it can be a title-worthy contender. If Dallas can make the group stage, achieve a consistent level of play and have Ferreira come back at 100 percent, it would also make for a tough team to beat.

Which MLS team do you think has the best shot at making a deep run in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League? Cast your vote here:


How did you vote? Which team do you think has the best shot at making a deep run? Do you see any team making it past the quarterfinals?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I am a MLS Homer, but would any of the millions of doubter posts above have picked Salt Lake when they qualified for CCL ?

    No. Not one.

    MLS is a parity league. Salt Lake is great, but there are other teams. Even the Sounders which were pathetic in CCL last year were only a few plays away from making it to knockout last year.

  2. ok i dont care if it is old. It’s time to move forward not dwell on the past And it should definitetly not et an automatic cl spot. No Way

  3. ok i dont care if it is old. It’s time to move forward not dwell on the past And it should definitetly not et an automatic cl spot. No Way

  4. This may get some disagreements, but…. if the final sec leg was against NY or LA in their stadiums I actually believe that they would have prevailed, just my instinct not denying RSL because they are one of the power teams of our league, but somehow some way, plus LA has won the tournament before when it was winner take all, they have some confidence to do their club proud. Los Galacticos!!!

  5. Up the cap, LA, RSL, and NY would probably be the only competitors because of all the money they would be able to spend (particularly NY because RB owns the club) but our international strength would be on a whole other level with financial flexibility much faster than current.

  6. I can’t vote on this poll. I truly don’t believe any MLS team listed can even win they’re group for a lot of the reason’s everyone has already listed. However, being a RSL supporter and watching the support from you all over the last 2 weeks, every one of these teams has my full support to victory. RSL and the NYDP’s are still the strongest MLS clubs by far. I feel bad for the Timbers this weekend! I think RSL will want to make a statement after losing to Monterrey. If ANY of other team in the MLS (except maybe NYDP, and possibly LA)were in that game last night, the score would’ve been 3, or 4, or 5 to zip.

  7. RBNY is not in this years CCL. In 2013, I’ll bet Agudelo and Henry are both gone, probably Marquez and Ream, too. Would you say the same thing then?


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