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Eight teams vie for five berths
by Paul Kennedy, October 19th, 2010 1:17AM

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TAGS:  columbus crew, concacaf champions league, mexico, real salt lake

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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Eight teams are fighting for the five berths that remain up for grabs going into this week's final day of play in the Concacaf Champions League, evidence of the increasing parity in the regional competition.

GROUP A. Only Group A is decided with Real Salt Lake hosting Cruz Azul with first place at stake. A win will give RSL the group title, while the Cementeros will claim first place with a tie or win.

GROUP B. By Tuesday night, the Columbus Crew will know whether it needs to get a result at Joe Public two days later to advance.

Santos of Mexico will win Group B with a win over Municipal of Guatemala -- a result that would also send the Crew into the quarterfinals. A tie in Torreon will also send Santos and Crew into the final eight.

If Municipal triumphs, the Crew must win at Joe Public.

GROUP C. Monterrey of Mexico has already clinched first place, while second-place Saprissa of Costa Rica leads Marathon of Honduras by a point.

Marathon faces a tall order as it must hope the Seattle Sounders, who have no chance of advancing, beat or tie Saprissa on Tuesday and it beats Monterrey -- unbeaten in its last 17 games -- the next night.

A Marathon tie against Monterrey does it no good as Saprissa holds the edge in the tiebreaker.

GROUP D. It's a long shot but Toluca could become the first Mexican team not to reach the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League if it doesn't beat FAS of El Salvador at home on Wednesday.

The Puerto Rico Islanders, the D-2 Pro League finalists after upset wins over Rochester and Vancouver, could return to the Concacaf final eight for the second time in three years, but they will probably require a win over Olimpia of Honduras in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday.

All Olimpia needs to do to win the group is tie the Islanders.

SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, Oct. 19
GROUP A:
Toronto FC (CAN) v Arabe Unido (PAN), Fox Soccer Channel, 8 pm ET
Real Salt Lake (USA) v Cruz Azul (MEX), Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision, 10 pm ET
GROUP B:
Santos (MEX) vs. Municipal (GUA), Telefuture, 8 pm ET
GROUP C:
Seattle Sounders FC (USA) vs. Saprissa (CR)

Wednesday, Oct. 19
GROUP C:
Marathon (HON) vs. Monterrey (MEX), Galavision, 10 pm ET
GROUP D:
Toluca (MEX) vs. FAS (SAL), Telefutura, 8 pm ET
Olimpia (HON) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders

Thursday, Oct. 19
GROUP D:
Joe Public (T&T) vs. Columbus Crew (USA), Fox Soccer Channel, Galavision, 8 pm ET

STANDINGS:
Group A
P TEAM W-T-L
10 Cruz Azul 3-1-1
10 Real Salt Lake 3-1-1
------------------------------
5 FC Toronto 1-2-2
3 Arabe Unido 1-0-4

Group B
P TEAM W-T-L
10 Santos 3-1-1
9 Columbus Crew 3-0-2
------------------------------
8 Municipal 2-2-1
1 Joe Public 0-1-4

Group C
P TEAM W-T-L
13 Monterrey 4-1-0
7 Saprissa 2-1-2
------------------------------
6 Marathon 2-0-3
3 Seattle Sounders 1-0-4

Group D
P TEAM W-T-L
10 Olimpia 3-1-1
8 Puerto Rico Islanders 2-2-1
------------------------------
7 Toluca 2-1-2
2 FAS 0-2-3



0 comments
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: October 19, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.
    It's not acceptable that the final games of undecided groups are not played simultaneously.

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