Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/3/2010: Crew Have Easiest Road They'll Likely Ever Have To Club World Cup


Emilio Renteria and the Crew has had some of their best success recently in the Champions League, and the Crew have played well against Mexican side Santos Laguna this season with one win and a tie that wasn't in Mexico due to a Renteria disallowed goal. However, the Crew will be happy to not have to face a Mexican side until the final in the knockout stages.

The Columbus Crew have the easiest route they'll likely ever have to a Concacaf Champions League final and a club goal of playing the likes of Manchester United and Inter Milan in a non-friendly competition in the Club World Cup.

The Crew will start off the knockout rounds of the Concacaf Champions League at home between Feb. 22-24 against MLS opponent Real Salt Lake; then face off the following week against RSL in the two game second round series. If the Crew have a better offseason with transactions and training than RSL the Crew will likely get to their first Concacaf Champions League semifinal.

At the Semifinal they'll meet the winner of Olimpia-Saprissa in a two game series in March and April. The Crew got the better of Saprissa in their two games against the Costa Rican club in the 2009 version of the Champions League, beating Saprissa twice. Further, Saprissa is likely to be the favorite in that series against Olimpia. The Crew will feel very confident going up against Saprissa again.

A win against Saprissa and they'll face off against a Mexican team in a two game final where Columbus will have to play the series of their lives to book the first Club World Cup appearance for a MLS team.

Quarterfinals
First Leg
February 22-24
Toluca (MEX) vs. Monterrey (MEX)
Cruz Azul (MEX) vs. Santos Laguna (MEX)
Columbus Crew (USA) vs. Real Salt Lake (USA)
Saprissa (CRC) vs. Olimpia (HON)
Second Leg
March 1-3
Monterrey (MEX) vs. Toluca (MEX)
Santos Laguna (MEX) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Real Salt Lake (USA) vs. Columbus Crew (USA)
Olimpia (HON) vs. Saprissa (CRC)

Semifinals
First Leg
March 15-17
Salt Lake-Columbus winner vs. Olimpia-Saprissa winner
Monterrey-Toluca winner vs. Santos-Cruz Azul winner
Second Leg
April 5-7
Olimpia-Saprissa winner vs. Salt Lake-Columbus winner
Santos-Cruz Azul winner vs. Monterrey-Toluca winner

Finals
First Leg
April 19-21
Santos-Cruz Azul/Monterrey-Toluca winner vs. Olimpia-Saprissa/Salt Lake-Columbus winner
Second Leg
April 26-28
Olimpia-Saprissa/Salt Lake-Columbus winner vs. Santos-Cruz Azul/Monterrey-Toluca winner

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