CONCACAF Champions League Preview, Predictions: Group A Looks To Break Its Four-Way Tie

Less than an hour until the night’s first CONCACAF Champions League kick-off, a busy day of covering multiple Champions Leagues finds the SB Nation Soccer Desk running short on grains as the hour glass streams. But the matches don’t stop, so fingers won't either, as we have time to do a snap preview of tonight’s action, starting in Toluca:

Toluca versus Puerto Rico Islanders, Group D, 8:00 p.m. Eastern - With a weekend match against America, Toluca is likely to hold something in reserve, even if Puerto Rico has proved time-and-time again that they’re capable of steering a Colin Clarke plan to an upset. There’s a reason they’re in the competition at the expense of the Los Angeles Galaxy, and there’s a reason they're tied with the Red Devils at the top of Group D.

Unfortunately for the Islanders, they will be without injured Nicholas Adderly, their leading goal scorer in this competition. They’ll be reliant on David Foley, he of the eight USSF Division II tallies.

Árabe Unido versus Cruz Azul, Group A, 10:00 p.m. Eastern - The last time Cruz Azul was on the road in CCL, they lost at Toronto, a result that now looks like a huge "Yikes." They rebounded with a monsoon shootout win against Real Salt Lake. After that slug-fest, La Maquina may be looking at their trip to Panama as a realtive reprieve.

Toronto lost at Árabe Unido 1-0 in a depressing contest last match day. Cruz Azul should be able to better that result.

Real Salt Lake versus Toronto, Group A, 10:00 p.m. Eastern - The novelty of seeing two Major League Soccer teams face-off in the continental competition has been overshadowed by changes in Toronto. Preki is gone, as is Mo Johnston, leaving TFC in flux. This seems too soon and too difficult a venue to expect them to turnaround, but as was hinted by the drastic nature of Tuesday’s announcements, there is little place to go but up. Toronto sits ninth in MLS, but it’s been some time since they played well. Their last good performance may have been a month ago, beating Cruz Azul at BMO in the crucial match behind Group A’s current four-way tie.

Predictions

Group Time Home Road Pick
D 8:00 p.m., Eastern Toluca Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1, Toluca
A 10:00 p.m., Eastern Árabe Unido Cruz Azul 3-1, Cruz Azul
A 10:00 p.m., Eastern Real Salt Lake Toronto 2-0, Real Salt Lake
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