D.C. United is on verge of clinching

[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview] MLS's four U.S. entrants are all in action in the Concacaf Champions League this week. They enter Week 5 with a combined 6-1-1 record though only D.C. United can clinch its group this week (with a win or tie against Panama's Tauro FC on Wednesday at RFK Stadium). Play begins on Tuesday with Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers at home.

WEEK 5, Schedule:
Tuesday, September 23
8 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. Real Esteli (NCA)
10 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers vs. Alpha United (GUY)
Wednesday, September 24
8 p.m. ET
Pachuca (MEX) vs. Municipal (GUA)
D.C. United vs. Tauro FC (PAN)
10 p.m. ET
FAS (SLV) vs. New York Red Bulls
Herediano (CRC) vs. Leon (MEX)
Thursday, September 25
8 p.m. ET
Bayamon FC (PUR) vs. Comunicaciones (GUA)
10 p.m. ET
Chorrillo FC (PAN) vs. Alajuelense (CRC)

SPORTING KC-REAL ESTELI. Sporting KC, the only MLS holdover from the 2013-14 Concacaf Champions League, hosts Real Esteli in a rematch of their game in Nicaragua that ended in a 1-1 draw in August. Real Esteli is now winless in 15 CCL matches, but it did manage to hold Sporting KC to a 1-1 draw when they met at Sporting Park in 2013.

If Sporting KC beats Real Esteli, it will take the Group 2 lead into the final match against Saprissa in Costa Rica in October. A win, draw or even one-goal defeat would be enough to send Sporting KC back to the quarterfinals, given last week's 3-1 win at home against Saprissa.

PORTLAND TIMBERS-ALPHA UNITED. The situation for the Timbers is similar to that of Sporting KC. The margin of victory against Alpha United on Wednesday won't matter as much as simply a victory, which would put them well placed to win the group base on last week's result.

The 4-2 win at home against Olimpia means the Timbers will advance with win, draw or even one-goal defeat in the Group 5 finale at Olimpia of Honduras in October. Of the four MLS clubs in midweek CCL action, only the Timbers are off next weekend.

On Deck, in MLS:
Friday, September 26
8 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. New England, NBCSN
Saturday, September 27
3 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. Philadelphia, NBCSN
Sunday, September 28
8:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. New York, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes



D.C. UNITED-TAURO FC. Having already swept Waterhouse FC, which in turn swept Tauro FC, D.C. United finds itself in comfortable position heading into Wednesday's game at home against the Panamanian club.

United just needs one point in two games to clinch the group but it will want at least a point Wednesday to take the pressure off the trip to Panama in October.

FAS-NEW YORK RED BULLS. The New York Red Bulls are the only MLS team away this week and the only team facing elimination. Their 1-0 loss last week at the Montreal Impact with a second-string squad is the only defeat so far by an MLS club, so they travel to El Salvador to face FAS on Wednesday in a must-win game.

The Red Bulls will need to beat FAS and the Impact at home in the group finale to tie Montreal on points. The tiebreaker is head-to-head so any win over Montreal except a one-goal victory in which the Impact scores would send the Red Bulls through to the quarterfinals.

Standings:
Group 1: Pachuca 6; Municipal 4; Real Espana 1.
Group 2: Sporting KC, Saprissa 4; Real Esteli 2.
Group 3: Montreal Impact 9; New York Red Bulls 3; FAS 0.
Group 4: D.C. United, Waterhouse 6; Tauro FC 0.
Group 5: Portland Timbers, Olimpia 6; Alpha United 0.
Group 6: Alajuelense, Cruz Azul 4; Chorrillo 3.
Group 7: Herediano 7, Leon 4; Isidro Metapan 0.
Group 8: Club America 7; Comunicaciones 4; Bayamon FC 0.

WEEK 6, Schedule:
Tuesday, October 21
8 p.m. ET
Tauro FC (PAN) vs. D.C. United
Club America (MEX) vs. Comunicaciones (GUA)
10 p.m. ET
Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Olimpia (HON) vs. Portland Timbers
Wednesday, October 22

8 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact
10 p.m. ET
Real Espana (HON) vs. Pachuca (MEX)
Thursday, October 23
8 p.m. ET
Leon (MEX) vs. Isidro Metapan (SLV)
10 p.m. ET
Saprissa (CRC) vs. Sporting KC

WEEK 1, Results:
Thursday, August 7
Comunicaciones (GUA) 5 Bayamon FC (PUR) 0
Tauro FC (PAN) 1 Waterhouse (JAM) 2
Wednesday, August 6
Pachuca (MEX) 4 Real Espana (HON) 1      
Real Esteli (NCA) 1 Saprissa (CRC) 1
Tuesday, August 5
Alpha United (GUY) 0 Olimpia (HON) 1
Cruz Azul (MEX) 1 Alajuelense (CRC) 1
Montreal Impact 1 FAS (SLV) 0
Isidro Metapan (SLV) 2 Leon (MEX) 4

WEEK 2, Results:
Thursday, August 21
Real Espana (HON) 1 Municipal (GUA) 1
Herediano (CRC) 4 Isidro Metapan (SLV) 0
Wednesday, August 20
D.C. United 1 Waterhouse FC  0
FAS 2 Montreal Impact 3
Tuesday, August 19
Alpha United (GUY) 1 Portland Timbers 4
Club America (MEX) 6 Bayamon FC (PUR) 1
Chorrillo (PAN) 1 Cruz Azul (MEX) 0
Real Esteli (NCA) 1 Sporting KC 1
 
WEEK 3, Results:
Thursday, August 28
Waterhouse (JAM) 4 Tauro FC (PAN) 0
Alajuelense (CRC) 1 Chorrillo (PAN) 0
Olimpia (HON) 6 Alpha United (GUY) 0
Wednesday, August 27
Leon (MEX) 1 Herediano (CRC) 1
Municipal (GUA) 3 Pachuca (MEX) 7
Tuesday, August 26
New York Red Bulls 2 FAS (SLV) 0
Comunicaciones (GUA) 1 Club America (MEX) 1
Saprissa (CRC) 3 Real Esteli (NCA) 0

WEEK 4, Results:
Thursday, September 18
Sporting KC 3 Saprissa (CRC) 1
Isidro Metapan (SLV) 2 Herediano (CRC) 4
Wednesday, September 17
Bayamon FC (PUR) 1 Club America (MEX) 10
Montreal Impact 1 New York Red Bulls 0
Municipal (GUA) 3 Real Espana (HON) 0
Tuesday, September 16
Waterhouse (JAM) 1 D.C. United 2
Cruz Azul (MEX) 3 Chorrillo 0
Portland Timbers 4 Olimpia (HON) 2
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