FCD, TFC square off with CCL knockout berth on line; Seattle looks to wrap up 1st

FCDTFC (Reuters Pictures)

Major League Soccer has taken some major strides during the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, but as the final games of group play approach, there is still work to be done before crowning this campaign as a great success.

Only one MLS team, Seattle, has clinched a place in the knockout stage so far, but that could all change Tuesday night. FC Dallas and Toronto FC square off in a crucial Group C battle in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), with the winner moving on to the knockout round and the loser going home.

TFC needs a win to advance, but Dallas could still move on with a win or draw. Both teams are level on seven points entering the match, and if the two teams play to a draw, Dallas would remain in front via tiebreaker. That wouldn't necessarily guarantee entry into the next round, though.

There is a scenario in which both teams would get eliminated if they draw and Tauro defeats Pumas UNAM along with a series of tiebreakers going against the MLS sides. Suffice it to say, both teams are operating under the "win-and-we're-in" mentality.

Seattle, meanwhile, has already wrapped up its place in the knockout stage but can clinch first place in its group with a win or draw against Monterrey (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel). 

The Sounders, riding high off of Kasey Keller's farewell match over the weekend, can exact even more revenge on Monterrey for last year's CCL fate by dealing Los Rayados a loss for the second time in this competition. Should that happen and Comunicaciones defeat Herediano in the other Group D finale, then Monterrey, the defending CCL champion, would be eliminated from contention.

The other two remaining MLS teams, Los Angeles and Colorado, will get their chances to seek qualification in the next round later this week.

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How do you see tonight's matches unfolding? How many (and which) MLS teams do you see making it to the knockout stage of the CCL?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Champions League, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to FCD, TFC square off with CCL knockout berth on line; Seattle looks to wrap up 1st

  1. Jose S. says:

    If Dallas draws and Tauro wins, Dallas can only advance if Tauro wins by 7 or more goals.

    I would have considered Tauro winning very unlikely but UNAM have been outscored 2-8 in the last two games including a 1-4 loss at home to the last place team in the Mexican League.

  2. JSmiley says:

    If Dallas and Toronto draw, there is significant potential for collusion in the Pumas-Tauro match. Pumas could hand Tauro a 1-0 win, still win the group based on goal differential, and Tauro would finish 2nd, eliminating both MLS teams. I have no idea whether or not Pumas would do this, but there should not even be the opportunity to do so.

    Hard to believe CONCACAF doesn’t schedule the final games of group stage to be played simultaneously. Then again, maybe not…it is CONCACAF after all.

  3. Olly says:

    Should be a great game! TFC has a lot to play for since they’re out of the playoff race and will be throwing everything they’ve got at this one. Dallas may have one eye on the MLS playoffs, but certainly want to advance in CCL. All three games have been tight 1-0 Dallas wins. It’s going to be a close one I think. Can’t wait!

  4. k says:

    Seattle has a lot of players sitting on yellow so don’t expect to see many of the starters in this game. They won’t want to risk losing them for the next round by playing in a meaningless game.

  5. Charles says:

    Seattle sat most starters in Monterrey and beat them.

    I would expect a repeat of starters sitting, as most played Saturday, although the second seed in MLS is already locked up.

    7 1/2 hours until kick off.

  6. soccerroo says:

    So what are all the tie breakers in this tournament? Had not even thought of tauro being a contender still.

  7. sammysounder74 says:

    If it’s me … I play the exact 11 that won away. This afternoon is gonna drag at work.

  8. abc says:

    Goals scored vs South Africa

  9. Eric says:

    I think Toronto is finally heading in the right direction as a franchise (assuming they let Winter keep implementing his system over time) but I want Dallas to win because I feel like they have the depth and talent to better represent MLS in the next round. Wish we didn’t have to choose between the two though. Be nice if all the MLS teams could advance to the knockouts.

  10. Tim F. says:

    I’ll be watching from 8pm on…

  11. bdtown says:

    I’m rooting for TFC, even though I really like FCD.

    First, those great Toronto fans deserve finally getting a taste of competitive success and I think they’d really get behind a CCL run.

    Second, I think the current starting 11 for TFC is actually better than FCD’s and depth won’t count as much for them since they’re not in the playoffs and can concentrate on the tournament.

  12. hogatroge says:

    Good point. Two months ago, I would have laughed and said I want FCD in the CCL so more MLS teams have a chance. Now, it’s a different story.

  13. Dimidri says:

    They left out the possibility that both TFC AND Dallas advance-in the event of a tie between the two and a Tauro win by 8 or 9 depending on the tie breaker, both would advance. :)

  14. Ivan says:

    Another great attendance at Pizza Hut Park: between 2 and 5 people watching this must win game. I can even hear a vuvuzela…how embarrasing…at least they play w/ a normal Nike ball, and not with the Jabulani monstrocity…

  15. ericJ says:

    Actually a fun game to watch…

  16. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    3-NIL
    3-NIL
    3-NIL

    Dont think I could be happier right now

  17. RB says:

    Oh, hey: the turf in Seattle looks just god-awful! Still!

  18. RB says:

    Oops — not as bad as that bit of (non-)defending, though. Yikes!

    Or that one!

    Good thing Seattle doesn’t need this game…

  19. SuperChivo says:

    Seattle play the game well. Even resting players they move the ball around well and just play like a team. This is a fun match.

  20. ericJ says:

    I agree. Even going down we have played relatively well, entertaining stuff.

  21. RB says:

    Major giveaway, and they pay the price.

  22. ooo says:

    Dirk Nowitzki… and who were the other 1 to 4 people who attended the game?

    What a joke, I thought soccer was big in Texas….