Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Canadian soccer makes Impact in CONCACAF Champions League
The Montreal Impact continue to do just enough to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League, advancing to the group stage with a 0-0 draw against Nicaraguan champion Real Esteli yesterday. Montreal won the two game total goal series 1-0.
The game was held in Honduras because Nicaragua didn't have an appropriate venue (which says all you really need to know about the quality of Esteli).
Full credit to Montreal. They are playing within their limitations and playing smart--organized and disciplined. They will need to continue that way because the next round gets much tougher.
They caught a break when MLS' New England Revolution threw in the towel against the best named football team in the world, Trinidad's Joe Public FC. (More on the MLS teams later today...)
Joe Public will be joined by Mexica side Atlante FC and Honduran powerhouse Club Deportivo Olimpia in Montreal's group.
Atlante is likely the favourite to win the whole thing and Olimpia is a former CONCACAF champion that is annually involved in international competition.
The Impact will be hard pressed to finish in the top two in that group, but then again they weren't supposed to get by TFC either.
Regardless, Montreal did Canadian soccer a favour by adcancing to the group stage. Canada is only guranted a spot in the Champions League through to the end of the 2009-10 competition. Results were needed to hold onto that spot.