CCL Preview: MLS teams enter quarterfinal stage
CONCACAF Champions League action is back.
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Three teams from Major League Soccer remain in the tournament as an all-MLS tie takes place at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday between the Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls.
The first leg of their quarterfinal will provide an intriguing peek as to the offseason work both Carl Robinson and Jesse Marsch have done to crank their teams up a few notches, as both clubs will rely on plenty of young talent once again this season. Marsch has handed the captains armband to U.S. national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan after Dax McCarty’s departure in the offseason, while the Whitecaps have never lost at RBA in three previous visits.
Former Seattle Sounders star Fredy Montero won’t make his debut for the ‘Caps as he continues to work on his fitness but he could play on Mar. 2 in the return game at BC Place, while this tie at least confirms that one MLS team will be in the semifinals of North America’s top club competition.
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Reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield champs FC Dallas also kick off the first leg of their CCL quarterfinal against Arabe Unido from Panama on Wednesday as the Texas outfit host the opener before heading down to Central America next week for the second leg. New DP signing Cristian Colman has impressed and given the absence of the injured Mauro Diaz, Oscar Pareja will look at him to make Dallas’ offense tick against a Panamanian outfit who went a perfect 4-0-0 in the CCL group stage.
In the two other CCL quarterfinals not involving MLS clubs, Costa Rican powerhouse Deportivo Saprissa drew 0-0 at home against Liga MX side Pachuca on Tuesday in the first leg of their quarterfinal. El Tri star Hirving Lozano was kept quiet by Saprissa but Pachuca will fancy their chances of advancing with a home game to come in the second leg. On Wednesday two Liga MX teams do battle as Tigres host Pumas in Monterrey as the runners up from last season look to make another charge to the final.
Below is the full schedule for the CCL quarterfinals, while you can stream the games on Facebook Live here.
CCL quarterfinal 1st legs
Deportivo Saprissa 0-0 Pachuca - Played on Tuesday, Feb. 21
New York Red Bulls vs. Vancouver - Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET
Tigres UANL vs. Pumas - Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Arabe Unido - Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
CCL quarterfinal 2nd legs
Pachuca vs. Deportivo Saprissa - Tuesday, Feb. 28 - 10 p.m. ET
Arabe Unido vs. FC Dallas - Wednesday, Mar. 1 - 8 p.m. ET
Pumas vs. Tigres UANL - Wednesday, Mar. 1 - 10 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls - Thursday, Mar. 2 - 10 p.m. ET