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CONCACAF Champions League roundup: Houston eliminated, other MLS clubs advance

Oct 24, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT

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Playing Champions League games in the midweek before the final Major League Soccer weekend of the season is a tricky proposition, but three of the four teams involved came out of it well. Only one failed to qualify for the quarterfinal round, while the other three topped their three-team groups to advance.

(The Montreal Impact was idle, having already finished group play, but with the San Jose Earthquakes’ victory, the Canadian club was eliminated.)

After these games, focus returns squarely to the MLS playoffs and off-season, with the quarterfinal round set to commence in March, just before the 2014 MLS season kicks off. Here’s how the four American teams involved in Champions League fared this week:

Sporting Kansas City 0-0 C.D. Olimpia

All Kansas City needed was a draw, and that’s exactly what it got. With an important league game on the weekend that will decide whether Sporting wins the Supporters’ Shield, head coach Peter Vermes will feel good about getting the crucial point without playing at 100 percent intensity.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 C.D. Heredia

Chris Wondolowski scored the only goal as San Jose secured a place in the quarterfinal round on goal difference. The Earthquakes will be without center back Clarence Goodson, as he received a second yellow card for time-wasting in stopping time.

Árabe Unido 1-0 Houston Dynamo

Finding a result in Panama proved to be too difficult a task for Houston, as it lost on a 61st-minute goal. The Dynamo rested the majority of its first-choice players, with an eye on its league match at D.C. United that it has to win to qualify for the MLS playoffs. If Houston fails to qualify for the playoffs, then that will be two competitions from which they have been bounced this week.

Isidro Metapán 4-0 Los Angeles Galaxy

Nicolás Muños scored a natural hat trick in the span of four first-half minutes, and then he added another eight minutes later for good measure on the way to burying the Los Angeles Galaxy. The away team did not need a result, as qualification for the next round was already assured, but the heavy loss hurt its quarterfinal seeding.


Quarterfinal matchups (seeding based on group record): Toluca vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Cruz Azul vs. Sporting Kansas City, Club Tijuana vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, Árabe Unido vs. Alajuelense

  1. jdfsquared - Oct 25, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Pretty disappointing to see the 3 MLS teams as the 3 bottom seeds. Makes it a lot less likely that this is the year.

    • braxtonrob - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      The seeding is simply based on how they did in Group play.
      Undoubtedly, the Mexican teams are tough, but in home-and-away series, it’s not going to come into play much, the best teams will advance from this point on, and the 3 MLS teams have the same chance as the 3 Mexican teams.

  2. hildezero - Oct 25, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    That’s not disappointing. The disappointing thing is Houston. It’s a shame that they didn’t advance. I didn’t care much about Montreal, because they’re a Canadian club, but Houston is a sad one. A good club that weren’t serious.

    • braxtonrob - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      I agree, Houston was VERY disappointing; hopefully, the other 3 (MLS) teams will get the job done.

  3. tylerbetts - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Agreed. The disappointing thing is the Dynamo failing to advance.

    But, I’m not disappointed by the seeds. Those are somewhat arbitrary. Depends on strength of group, when you clinched, how hard you went after it. San Jose had the toughest group, so it’s not hard to fault them for ending up with the lowest seed.

    I’m kind of excited MLS vs. Liga MX takes three slots in the quarterfinals. Yes, there’s a real possibility that MLS could be completely out before we reach the semifinals. But, as Ric Flair would say … to be the man, you have to beat the man.

  4. geojock - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I dont know that I will watch one of these games again. Houston didnt play its 1st choice players (good reason, i know) so that made for poor soccer, but Árabe Unido was an absolute joke. You cant even call that professional game. It was a disgrace to all sport. Players refusing to leave the field at the officials request. Balls thrown on the field to waste time. In the last 30 min the ball was truly in play for no more that 15min. I would have been embarrassed if a saw an under 12 game played in that way.

    • braxtonrob - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      @geojock, I’m glad you noted how awful that was. I was disgusted at how the Referee added only 4 minutes extra time when only 5 of the last 15 minutes had actual soccer being played. Outrageous.

  5. mikeevergreen - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I hope Cruz Azul isn’t smiling…SKC will wipe that smile right off their face.

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