CONCACAF Champions League: Judgment day for DC United and Toronto FC

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DC United and Toronto FC are both on the road tonight for pivotal second-leg matches in the CONCACAF Champions League and both have some serious work to do.

Toronto FC meets the USL-1 Puerto Rico Islanders tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) and must erase a 1-0 first-leg deficit and do so in Puerto Rico against an Islanders squad that is coming off a semifinal run in last year's Champions League tournament.

DC United must improve on last week's 1-1 first-leg tie at RFK Stadium in tonight's match-up vs. Luis Angel Firpo in San Salvador (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The New York Red Bulls play their decisive second-leg against W Connection on Wednesday, leaving tonight as a night for DC and Toronto FC to step up and join the Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo in the Champions League Group Stage.

Here is a preview of the D.C.-Luis Angel Firpo match and here's a preview of the Toronto FC-Puerto Rico match.

What do you think of tonight's match-ups? Think DC can win in El Salvador? Do you see Toronto FC knocking off Puerto Rico?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to CONCACAF Champions League: Judgment day for DC United and Toronto FC

  1. Tim says:

    DCU need to win this. They are starting to slide.

  2. Seemore says:

    Today I will cheer for DCU and TFC

  3. Al17 says:

    Let’s go Islanders!!!!!!

  4. Steve says:

    Competitions like this are the strongest evidence that MLS needs to find a way to expand the salary cap, roster size, and salary (particularly developmental) limits. It is just to hard to build quality depth and player development in the current structure.

  5. Bill says:

    I just don’t think DC can do it – how many teams from MLS win in Latin America? Was Houston the only one?

    Toronto should do fine – but they shouldn’t have lost the first match, so what do I know? :)

  6. Martin says:

    Not only does MLS need to expand the roster and cap, but we need to do away with these mid season friendlies. FO’s need to stop being star struck and start working towards putting winning teams together.

  7. Tim says:

    DCU has won in central america… only once. DCU is going to put a mostly 1st choice squad as are TFC.

  8. sack says:

    Hope DC crashed out and Puerto Rico advances to rep USL. And NY of course.

  9. Cody says:

    mid-seasons bring in too much money for a barely profitable league to do away with. MLS needs preseason friendlies.

  10. ross says:

    Today and Today only will I cheer for DC and TFC. Who wouldnt want to see Columbus Beat TFC one more time.

  11. beckster says:

    I hope DC can pull it out but they have had an awfully rough couple of weeks with games averaging every three days and some key injuries like Clyde Symms. I’d like to be pleasantly surprised.

  12. Jason says:

    DC used to win vs. Central American teams all the time.

    Time to get back into that swing.

  13. ga-gone says:

    Rooting on both MLS teams tonight. Let’s do it, boys!

  14. Never First says:

    I think Toronto has better odds than DC. They just need another performance like the last one against Montreal.

    The sad fact is MLS matches are much more important than CONCACAF Champions League matches due to money. Just look at how many fans show up to the Champions League matches. MLS needs an attitude overhaul.

  15. Reid says:

    Ironic that MLS teams treat Concacaf champions league like most americans treat soccer.

    If MLS wants more respect (more fans/more money) they need to compete on the international scene.

    Seems like what has been going on this past summer gets squandered when MLS teams can’t beat a team from el salvador during their preseason.

  16. yankiboy says:

    As a Puerto Rico Islanders fan, I really like our chances tonight.

    Yes, TFC is formidable opponent from a superior league with a lot of talented players. No doubt.

    I know that a lot of TFC and MLS fans thing that tonight’s game will be similar to the one that the Orange Troop played at BMO last week when it visited but I sseriously doubt it.

    While it is true that “General” Colin Clarke, maybe even more so than some other coaches, tends to stick to his playbook when the Islanders play on the road; it is a very, very conservative style.

    When Puerto Rico plays at the JRL, it typically plays a more attacking style.

    The first goal will be really imporant tonight, even more so than the Toronto leg.

    If Islanders can draw first blood then TFC will be under more pressure to attack and more likely to be vulnerable in the back.

    The speed of Kendall Jandeosingh or Fabrice Noel (if Clarke elects to go with him and he just might start him tonight and use Jandeo as a subersub if we draw first blood–Toronto hasn’t experienced Noel’s speed firsthand yet and he provides a slightly different look that Jandeo).

    Getting a good result in Bayamon is far from easy. The Islanders have made a name for themselves beating clubs at the JRL they they supposedly should have never even found themselves on the same field with (Cruz Azul, Santos, Alajuelense).

    I can see a scenario where the Islanders could manage to score a couple against a full strenth (or close to full strength TFC).

    The Islanders actually had a chance to get a little rest between the CCL matches while TFC had to go to play New England.

    The “quirks” of the field at the JRL. The confidence of having beat other very good clubs in Bayamon and familiarity of playing at home. Have a bit of rest.

    General Clarke and the boys have. They have to go out and get it done. The Islanders organization and fans now “expect” them to kill giants when they come to our house.

    I’m not predicting that it will be easy just that another upset could be in the making…

  17. Rossi is Judas says:

    D.C. will advance.

    NYRB should, but it’s certainly going to be tough for them. This game should determine the fate of JCO.

    Sorry TFC fans, but the PR Islanders are for real.

  18. yankiboy says:

    Ok. Now for my local MLS side:

    As a DC United fan, man o man did last week’s result at RFK complicate things. You have to beat a team that is still in it’s preseason. They let Firpo get confidence. Too much confidence.

    Now, Firpo is playing at home, they know that they can hang with DCU. And some aspects of the first half at Houston didn’t inspire too much confidence for many of the supporters.

    If Emilio can have a big game (maybe not get two goals but grab one), and the defense can avoid some dreadful mistakes then they will make a very difficult assignement a little easier and a good result a little more likely.

    I’m wondering how much United has left in the tank. I hope that it is enough to get through tonight and make it to the group stages.

  19. Steve says:

    DCU is going to put a mostly 1st choice squad as are TFC.

    Posted by: Tim | August 04, 2009 at 01:18 PM

    Is this a question? What are they resting up players for the friendlies against Real Madrid?

    Uh, this just in… no one cares if TOronto or DC sned out their lowest level youth tema as long as Kaka and Ronaldo tro around for 45 minute so do us a favor and at least try adn win tonight.

  20. Scott A says:

    CONCACAF Champions League > Friendlies

  21. Tim says:

    @Steve

    You do realize that New England and Chivas both put out less than full strength sides at the same stage of the competition last year that is what i was addressing not the preseason friendlies. There is no reason to get snide over someone stating facts. It makes you look like a @ss.

  22. Tim says:

    And I know for DCU a lot of players played a lot of minutes in the hot and humid Houston area, and many of them are fairly old. So some may not be able to start or play the full 90 hence “mostly 1st choice squad”.

  23. Tim says:

    And it does matter that the squads don’t get steam rolled by Real Madrid because it will hurt their and MLS’s credibility.

  24. Chg says:

    Are most American fans pulling for Puerto Rico or Toronto?

    I’m hoping the Islanders pull it out, but it wouldn’t hurt to see TFC get through.