[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE]The Columbus Crew, the lone MLS team still alive in the Concacaf Champions League, faces a tall order when it begins its quarterfinal series at home against Mexico's Toluca Tuesday (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 8 pm ET). Columbus will be without star Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is suspended. Also unavailable will be two starting defenders, Chad Marshall(hamstring injury) and Franky Hejduk (suspension).
It's unlikely the Crew will have much of a home-field advantage, at least based on recent form and the current weather.
Since its 24-game unbeaten streak at Crew Stadium was broken, Columbus has lost four straight games at home, most notably a 3-2 defeat to Real Salt Lake in the MLS playoffs.
Unseasonably moderate temperatures shouldn't bother Toluca.
History is not on the Crew's side, either.
-- It lost to Cruz Azul twice (4-0 and 2-0) in group play of the 2009-10 competition;
-- MLS teams have lost 10 of 11 two-leg knockout series to Mexican teams in Concacaf's top club competition. (The only MLS team to win its two-leg Concacaf series is Kansas City, which beat Santos in the 2002 quarterfinals.)
The Crew is coming off a strong preseason campaign, however. It's unbeaten in eight games with five wins and three ties.
Other Concacaf quarterfinals:
MARATHON-UNAM (Galavision, live) 8 pm ET.
COMUNICACIONES-PACHUCA (Galavision, live) 10 pm ET.
ARABE UNIDO-CRUZ AZUL (TeleFutura, live) 8 pm ET.