Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sporting to Face Cruz Azul in CCL Quarterfinals

The final 8 for the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League are set. Last night in their 0-0 draw with Olimpia, Sporting KC clinched a spot in the final 8, but had to wait until tonight to learn their opponent. With Houston losing in Panama tonight, Sporting KC got themselves locked into the 7th seed. Then the LA Galaxy lost 4-0 to Metapan setting Kansas City up against Mexican club, Cruz Azul.

The two teams will meet up in a home and away series when the season kicks back off in late February/early March. Should KC advance out of the group, they'd earn a match up against the winner of the Tijuana/LA Galaxy series.

KC will host the first leg of the series at Sporting Park before traveling to Mexico City for the second leg. It's not going to be easy going for KC in the match up. Only twice has an MLS team won a home-away series with a Mexican side. Kansas City did it against Santos back in 2002 losing 2-1 away before winning 2-0 at home. Seattle became the second team to do it in the 2012-2013 version of the tournament, topping UNAL 3-2 on aggregate (losing 1-0 away, winning 3-1 at home). Only twice have MLS teams won in Mexico as well, with Dallas and Seattle both winning in Mexico during the group stage of the 2011-2012 version of the tournament.

Personally I'd been hoping for a match up with the LA Galaxy. The match up would have been a better fit for KC coming out of preseason. Now KC will get a Cruz Azul team that will be in midseason form.  Yes they would have eventually had to have played a Mexican team, but getting their feet under them to start would have been nice.

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