CONCACAF Champions League Roundup: Columbus Joins RSL in Quarters

They don’t play their final Group B match until Thursday, but the Columbus Crew got word last night that they’re guaranteed to advance to next spring’s quarterfinals of the CCL.

Santos Laguna’s 6-1 trouncing of Municipal ensured the Crew of finishing second place in the group (behind Santos), no matter what happens in their meeting with hilariously named Joe Public in Trinidad on Thursday.

Columbus coach Robert Warzycha can now rest his first-choice players to recharge for the MLS finale and playoffs. It would be a much-needed respite after the Crew played five games in a recent two week stretch that sent them to Boston, Guatemala City, Seattle, and Chicago. Maybe some of the starters can skip the trip to Trinidad for tomorrow night’s game?

Also in CCL action last night was the continuously impressive Real Salt Lake, which fielded a team of reserves against Cruz Azul, and spanked the visitors 3-1 in front of an overflow crowd of 20,463 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Paulo Jr., who is from Brazil, but is not the bassist for Sepultura, bagged goals on either side of halftime to lead the way.

Both teams had already booked passage to the quarters (Cruz Azul rested multiple starters too), but RSL topped Group A with the victory, becoming the first MLS team to win a CCL group since the tournament adopted its current format three years ago.

The win also (somewhat) avenged that bats*** insane loss down in Mexico back in August.

Here are the highlights:

Toronto FC and Seattle played out the CCL string last night, with Sounders FC fielding its second-choice group and falling to quarterfinal-bound Saprissa 2-1 on an 87th-minute goalkeeping gaffe by Kasey Keller.

Keller was a late addition to the lineup after Terry Boss, Keller’s understudy who had been scheduled to start the game, came up with an injury.

Highlights here:

Toronto FC finished its CCL run on a positive note, downing Panama’s Arabe Unido 1-0 at BMO Field. Nineteen-year-old Ashtone Morgan made his TFC debut, then returned to high school classes this morning (really).

Highlights:

Real Salt Lake and Columbus will learn their quarterfinal opponents on November 1. The quarters kick off in February 2011.

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