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TFC on cusp of qualifying for CONCACAF Champions League group stage

Frings (Reuters Pictures)

Toronto FC's 2011 campaign has left plenty to be desired, but with a favorable result in Nicaragua Tuesday night (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), the Reds can seal their place in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

On the strength of two Joao Plata goals, TFC took the home leg of its preliminary tie with Real Esteli, 2-1, but a late away goal by Alesandro Calero could be a huge factor in determining which team moves forward. If Esteli can hold serve at home, TFC would be in line to suffer another setback in a trying year north of the border.

The winner of the TFC-Esteli tie gets placed in Group C with Pumas UNAM, Tauro and either FC Dallas or Alianza.

How do you see TFC's match unfolding? With its bevy of new players, do you see TFC being able to make any noise in the CCL, should it qualify?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Canada should get 2 bids, considering the utter lack of adequate stadiums in central america. i wouldnt be surprised if Herediano of costa rica is playing out of Saprissa stadium instead of out of their 8k dingy stadium. lets not forget that Canada has the record for highest attendance to a CCL match outside of Mexico- Montreal vs. Santos. Hell, that might be a higher attendance then even any ccl game in mexico.

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  2. They completely dominated the 1st Leg and they got some momentum from the 2nd Half vs PDX. I see no reason why they dont get a draw here. TFC moves on.

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  3. Canadian teams don’t qualify based on MLS performance – they play a 4-team tournament in April and May. TFC beat FC Edmonton (NASL) in the semi then Vancouver in the final. No different than Puerto Rico Islanders playing in NASL and qualifying for CCL through Caribbean tournament.

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  4. Here is one MLS fan rooting against TFC tonight. I think it is a shame that they get a birth in the Champions League while consistantly finishing the bottom of MLS. Canada needs to stop getting a bid into the Champions league, and have the teams qualify based on their performance in MLS.

    Rooting for Dallas, Colorado, LA and somewhat for Seattle, as I don’t really like the Open Cup winner getting a CCL bid either.

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  5. I’d feel much better about their chances if they hadn’t given away a free goal at the end of the first leg. I don’t think the night ends well for them unless they play a first team with Frei in it.

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  6. I’m glad that the TFC fans have something to cheer about. They’ve been a classy group, loud and proud, that has deserved much better from their club (at least in terms of management and performance–very nice stadium).

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  7. I believe we have the squad talent to beat Real Estali and get into the group stage. But the travel to Estali will be very hard on the team and we understand the pitch is woeful. I wish this was being played in Managua to address both those factors.

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  8. As an MLS fan, hoping Toronto can get a result in Nicaragua tonight and advance. I have a feeling it will be a challenge though.

    Chemistry could be an issue for TFC considering its basically a completely new squad.

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