Another MLS flop in Central America

[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Two days after the Portland Timbers, needing as little as a one-goal loss to advance, fell at Olimpia of Honduras to exit Concacaf Champions League, Sporting Kansas City exited when it lost to Saprissa of Costa Rica, 2-0. Only two MLS clubs survived the group stage, the fewest since 2011, and only one U.S. entrant, No. 1 seed D.C. United, is still alive, the fewest since 2010.

Quarterfinal Pairings:
D.C. United vs. Alajuelense (CRC)
Club America (MEX) vs. Saprissa (CRC)
Herediano (CRC) vs. Olimpia (HON)
Montreal Impact vs. Pachuca (MEX)

Like the Timbers, Sporting Kansas City was unbeaten heading into its group finale and could afford a one-goal defeat, or even any two-goal defeat except 2-0. And that's what happened as Saprissa won on goals by Heiner Mora and Ariel Rodriguez.

Like UEFA, Concacaf uses head-to-head, not goal differential within the group, as the first tiebreaker. Saprissa's 2-0 win left it tied with Sporting KC on points with seven. Goal difference in the two head-to-head matches was tied at 3-3, but Saprissa advanced thanks to its away goal in the 3-1 loss at Sporting Park.

Sporting KC's loss was compounded by injuries to midfielder Benny Feilhaber (ankle) and right back Igor Juliao (hamstring), both regular starters.

WEEK 6, Results:
Thursday, October 23
Leon (MEX) 4 Isidro Metapan (SLV) 1
Saprissa (CRC) 2 Sporting KC 0
Wednesday, October 22
New York Red Bulls 1 Montreal Impact 1
Real Espana (HON) 3 Pachuca (MEX) 2
Tuesday, October 21
Tauro FC (PAN) 0 D.C. United 1
Club America (MEX) 2 Comunicaciones (GUA) 0
Alajuelense (CRC) 1 Cruz Azul (MEX) 1
Olimpia (HON) 3 Portland Timbers 1

Saprissa's win gives Costa Rica three teams in the final eight, the most of any country in Concacaf. Mexico has two quarterfinals, while the USA, Canada and Honduras have one apiece.

The provisional dates for the two legs of the quarterfinals are February 24-26 and March 3-5 -- likely before the start of the MLS season.

Group 1: *Pachuca 9 (17-8); Municipal 4; Real Espana 4.
Group 2: *Saprissa 7; Sporting KC 7; Real Esteli 2.
Note: Head-to-head tied 3-3; Saprissa wins on away goals 1-0.
Group 3: *Montreal Impact 10 (6-3); New York Red Bulls 5; FAS 1.
Group 4: *D.C. United 12 (6-1); Waterhouse 6; Tauro FC 0.
Group 5: *Olimpia 9 (12-5); Portland Timbers 9; Alpha United 0.
Note: Head-to-head tied 5-5; Olimpia wins on away goals 2-1.
Group 6: Alajuelense 6 (4-3); Cruz Azul 5; Chorrillo 4.
Group 7: *Herediano 10 (11-4); Leon 4; Isidro Metapan 0.
Group 8: *Club America 10 (19-3); Comunicaciones 7; Bayamon FC 0.
*Clinched group.
5 comments about "Another MLS flop in Central America".
  1. KC Soccer Dad, October 24, 2014 at 7:15 a.m.

    Juliao is suspended for the last regular season match anyway.

  2. stewart hayes, October 24, 2014 at 8:16 a.m.

    Both goals off KC mistakes. The first the mishandled ball by the keeper and the second a defensive clearance to the feet of an attacker than lead to a powerful deflected shot. Worse in the first half KC almost gave Saprissa a goal on a poor back pass that was intercepted by Saprissa. All in all a great night for Saprissa and a night to forget for KC.

  3. Didi P, October 24, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.

    It is all that German's fault! Look how detrimental he is to MLS

  4. Walt Pericciuoli, October 24, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.

    MLS does not take these game serious. Why should we.Only half effort deserves only half our attention.Why should anyone pay to watch these games?

  5. The Face, October 26, 2014 at 3:39 p.m.

    Walt, maybe to prove they are getting better?? Credibility goes a long way when running a 1st Division league and club. If Mls feels no need to win these games they better tell MX teams who always win it and still find time to play their 2nd teams in this event.

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