The final eight teams in the CONCACAF Champions League have learned their fate, with three MLS teams, three Mexican squads and single sides from Costa Rica and Guatemala advancing to the knockout rounds of the region's premiere club competition.
With the Los Angeles Galaxy's reserve-heavy 3-2 win over Salvadoran side Metapan and Chivas de Guadalajara's 2-1 victory over Guatemalan side Xelaju on Thursday, the eight group winners from the opening stage were able to be seeded based on group performance, a first in the tournament, which used to have its knockout round settled by random draw.
Here is the order of finish for the eight qualifying teams:
- Santos Laguna
- Seattle Sounders
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Tigres UANL
- Houston Dynamo
As a result, two-time defending champion Monterrey earned the top overall seed in the quarterfinals and will play against Xelaju; Santos Laguna and American striker Herculez Gomez will face 2011 MLS Cup runner-up Houston Dynamo; The Seattle Sounders will face Tigres UANL; and the Galaxy will take on Herediano, which advanced with a scoreless draw at Real Salt Lake earlier this week to eliminate the 2010-11 CCL finalist.
The first leg of the quarterfinals will not be played until the first week of March, and the second leg, which will be hosted by the higher-seeded team, will be played the following week.
The semifinals are slated for the first and second week of April, and the pairings for that round are as follows, as the tournament field will not be re-seeded after the quarterfinals:
- Monterrey/Xelaju vs. Los Angeles Galaxy/Herediano
- Santos Laguna/Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders/Tigres UANL
The two-legged final is slated for April 24 and May 1, and the possibility exists of an all-MLS or all-Mexican affair. Monterrey ousted Santos Laguna in an all-Mexican final last year after topping Real Salt Lake the year before and is slated for a place in the FIFA Club World Cup this December.
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