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More Champions League success for Toronto FC

Liverpool FC's Jose Enrique (R) fights w

Liverpool FC’s Jose Enrique (R) fights with Toronto FC’s Reggie Lambe during the first half of the Herbalife World Football Challenge at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, July 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/GettyImages)

AFP/Getty Images

Who can explain Toronto FC’s magic charms in CONCACAF Champions League?

I realize that Toronto isn’t slicing through Champions League like a sharp knife through well-cooked brisket. But relatively speaking, comparing performance in CCL vs. performance in league play, the contrast is just this side of stunning.

Remember last spring, when the club couldn’t spell “Win” in league play if you showed it to them on flash cards?

But they were rolling grande in CCL, battling their way into elimination play and then knocking down the mighty L.A. Galaxy. The Reds held their own against a powerful Santos Laguna until things got away from them in the second half of the second leg down in Mexico.

So, here we go again?

That wily old Paul Mariner downplayed his team’s stake in CCL, insisting that points in league play were more precious. Then, shortly thereafter, his team put a serious hurt on El Salvador’s Club Deportivo Aguila.

Mariner’s men battered their travel-weary visitors last night, 5-1. Reggie Lambe (pictured) hit twice for TFC; Luis Silva, Terry Dunfield and Ryan Johnson added one each.

All that said, the team’s next CCL outing will be a whole different jar of jalapenos. TFC faces Santos once again, the overwhelming group favorite. Only one team will move on from the group.