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Real Salt Lake kicks off regional play
July 30th, 2012 6:53PM

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TAGS:  concacaf champions league, real salt lake

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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Real Salt Lake, the 2011 runner-up in the Concacaf Champions League, returns to action in the regional club competition Tuesday when it plays at Herediano of Costa Rica at San Jose's Estadio Nacional (TV: Fox Soccer, live, 10 p.m. ET). The Herediano-RSL game and the match pitting two-time defending champion Monterrey of Mexico against Chorrillo of Panama kicks off the group stage of the reformatted competition. Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders are the only other MLS teams in action this week.

Instead of four groups of four, there are eight groups of three. Instead of the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals, the eight groups winners will go through.

And instead of each team playing six games, the teams in the three-team groups will play four games over six dates, meaning that they have two byes.

The reduced schedule in the group stage should be of a benefit to MLS clubs who must balance the regional competition with priorities in the latter stages of the MLS regular season.

Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders are the only MLS teams in action this week. TFC hosts Aguila of El Salvador Wednesday, while the Sounders face Caribbean champion Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago) at home on Thursday.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo begin play on Week 2.

The NASL's Puerto Rico Islanders are one of three teams to have played in each of the five Champions League competitions.

Play resumes with games on back-to-back weeks in late August and September and concludes the week of Oct. 23-25.

The quarterfinals will be played in 2013.

HEREDIANO. Herediano is making its third appearance in the competition but has yet to advance out of the group stage. The Rojiamarillos opened the 2012 Torneo Verano in Costa Rica this weekend with a 2-0 win over Santos de Guapiles on goals by Jose Miguel Cubero and Argentine Ismael Gomez.

AGUILA. Aguila won El Salvador's Torneo Clausura in May. Its attack is led by Salvadoran national team player Isidro Hernandez. It features young Salvadoran-American Moises Hernandez, on loan from FC Dallas. A bid to sign another Salvadoran-American, Gerson Mayen, failed when the former Chivas USA midfielder signed with Luis Angel Firpo.

CALEDONIA AIA. Caledonia beat T&T rival W Connection in a shootout to win the 2012 CFU Club Championship. Five Guyanese players -- Walter Moore, Trayon Bobb, Colin Nelson, Sheldon Holder and Colin Edwards -- and Kareem Joseph from Grenada are in the Caledonia travel squad.

GROUPS:
Group 1: Santos (Mexico), Toronto FC (Canada), Aguila (El Salvador)
Group 2: Herediano (Costa Rica), Real Salt Lake (USA), Tauro FC (Panama)
Group 3: Olimpia (Honduras), Houston Dynamo (USA), FAS (El Salvador)
Group 4: Seattle Sounders (USA), Marathon (Honduras), Caledonia AIA (Trin. & Tobago)
Group 5: LA Galaxy (USA), Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico)
Group 6: Tigres (Mexico), Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Real Esteli (Nicaragua)
Group 7: Chorrillo (Panama), Monterrey (Mexico), Municipal (Guatemala)
Group 8: Xelaju (Guatemala), Guadalajara (Mexico), W Connection (Trinidad)

SCHEDULE:
Week 1
Tuesday, July 31
Monterrey (MEX) vs. Chorrillo (PAN), 8 p.m.
Herediano (CRC) vs. Real  Salt Lake, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, August 1
Toronto FC (CAN) vs. Aguila (SLV), 8 p.m.
Isidro Metapan (SLV) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), 10 p.m.
Tigres (MEX) vs. Real Esteli (NCA), 10 p.m.
Thursday, August 2
W Connection (TRI) vs. Xelaju (GUA), 8 p.m.
Olimpia (HON) vs. FAS (SLV), 10 p.m.
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Caledonia AIA (TRI), 10 p.m.                        

Week 2
Tuesday, August 21
Santos (MEX) vs. Aguila (SLV), 8 p.m.
Real Salt Lake (USA) vs. Tauro (PAN), 10 p.m.
Xelaju (GUA) vs. Guadalajara (MEX), 10 p.m.
Wednesday, August 22
Caledonia AIA (TRI) vs. Marathon (HON), 8 p.m.
Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Tigres (MEX), 10 p.m.
FAS (SLV) vs. Houston Dynamo (USA), 10 p.m.
Thursday, August 23
Chorrillo (PAN) vs. Municipal (GUA), 8 p.m.
LA Galaxy (USA) vs. Isidro Metapan (SLV), 10 p.m.
               
Week 3
Tuesday, August 28
Toronto FC (CAN) vs. Santos (MEX), 8 p.m.
Real Esteli (NCA) vs. Alajuelense (CRC), 10 p.m.
Wednesday, August 29
Guadalajara (MEX) vs. W Connection (TRI), 8 p.m.
LA Galaxy (USA) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), 10 p.m.
Municipal (GUA) vs. Monterrey (MEX), 10 p.m.
Thursday, August 30
Tauro (PAN) vs. Herediano (CRC), 8 p.m.
Caledonia AIA (TRI) vs. Seattle Sounders (USA), 8 p.m.
Olimpia (HON) vs. Houston Dynamo (USA), 10 p.m.
 
Week 4
Tuesday, September 18
Tauro FC (PAN) vs. Real Salt Lake (USA), 8 p.m.
Xelaju (GUA) vs. W Connection (TRI), 10 p.m.
Real Esteli (NCA) vs. Tigres (MEX), 10 p.m.
Wednesday, September 19
Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR) vs. LA Galaxy (USA), 8 p.m.
Aguila (SLV) vs. Santos (MEX), 10 p.m.
Marathon (HON) vs. Seattle Sounders (USA), 10 p.m
Thursday, September 20
Houston Dynamo (USA) vs. FAS (SLV), 8 p.m.
Municipal (GUA) vs. Chorrillo (PAN), 10 p.m.
 
Week 5
Tuesday, September 25
Monterrey (MEX) vs. Municipal (GUA), 8 p.m.
Aguila (SLV) vs. Toronto FC (CAN), 10 p.m.
Herediano (CRC) vs. Tauro (PAN), 10 p.m.
Wednesday, September 26
W Connection (TRI) vs. Guadalajara (MEX), 8 p.m.
Marathon (HON) vs. Caledonia AIA (TRI), 10 p.m.
Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Real Esteli (NCA), 10 p.m.
Thursday, September 27
Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR) vs. Isidro Metapan (SLV), 8 p.m.
FAS (SLV) vs. Olimpia (HON), 10 p.m.
 
Week 6
Tuesday, October 23
Houston Dynamo (USA) vs. Olimpia (HON), 8 p.m.
Real Salt Lake (USA) vs. Herediano (CRC), 10 p.m.
Chorrillo FC (PAN) vs. Monterrey (MEX), 10 p.m.
Wednesday, October 24
Santos (MEX) vs. Toronto FC (CAN), 8 p.m.
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Marathon (HON), 10 p.m.
Tigres (MEX) vs. Alajuelense (CRC), 10 p.m.
Thursday, October 25
Guadalajara (MEX) vs. Xelaju (GUA), 8 p.m.
Isidro Metapan (SLV) vs. LA Galaxy (USA), 10 p.m.



2 comments
  1. John Burns
    commented on: July 31, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
    What is the criteria that determines which MLS teams participate in this competition? Four of the five MLS teams have reputations of proving they are at least worthy of representing the league but Toronto's history indicates they are lucky if they come out on top of the all important coin toss prior to the kickoff of a match.

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: July 31, 2012 at 11:39 a.m.
    I think Toronto got there by winning the Canadian "championship" in a series with Montreal and Vancouver, but I wouldn't take it personally if somebody corrected me.


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