Five MLS teams are in the group stage of the Concacaf Champions League. Four of them have the opportunity to move on to the next round. And two of them will meet in an upcoming fixture.
With the Montreal Impact set to visit the San Jose Earthquakes, this round of fixtures will have a very MLS feel to it. Add in Sporting KC with a chance to all but wrap up a berth in the next round and the LA Galaxy with an opportunity to put themselves in excellent position, and this week's roundup of games will be vital for MLS teams.
For the full Concacaf Champions League schedule, be sure to check out Concacaf.com.
Tuesday, September 17: Real Esteli at Sporting KC
Sporting KC have already won both of their Group 2 games, by a combined score of 4-0, and both were on the road. Now, they get to play in front of the excellent Sporting KC supporters, having already beaten Real Esteli, 2-0.
Kansas City is currently third on the MLS Eastern Conference table, just three points behind the New York Red Bulls. Behind Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Claudio Bieler, it's hard to imagine Kansas City losing to a team they already beat on the road.
Tuesday, September 17: Montreal Impact at San Jose Earthquakes
The Impact wont the first Group 5 game between these teams, 1-0, in Montreal. They also drew with the Earthquakes in San Jose, 2-2, in MLS play. With Montreal second on the Eastern Conference table and San Jose eighth (out of nine teams) in the West, it wouldn't be shocking if the Impact took points in this contest.
Which team wins?
Anything less than a win for the Earthquakes will ensure they can't advance to the next stage, so expect Chris Wondolowski, Sam Cronin and company to come out with their shorts lit on fire.
But behind red-hot Marco Di Vaio—he has a whopping seven goals in his last five games—Felipe Martins Campanholi and Patrice Bernier, the excellent Impact attack will ensure Montreal at least earns a point, and potentially takes all three.
Wednesday, September 18: Isidro Metapan at LA Galaxy
The Galaxy have played just one game in Group 8 thus far but they made it count, winning 2-0 over Cartagines. Isidro Metapan have played two games and have only drawn thus far, meaning anything short of a draw will end their tournament.
So yes, the stakes are high for the Salvadorian club. Unfortunately for them, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez won't be particularly worried about those stakes, as a win would give the LA Galaxy a stranglehold over this group.
The Galaxy haven't been dominant in the MLS, as their 44 points puts them seventh overall. But it would be a huge, huge shocker if the club failed to win at home against an inferior side. Expect them to take the three points rather easily.