CONCACAF Champions League 2012-13 Preview: Down The Stretch They Come

The CONCACAF Champions League group stage heads into its final three match days, but some groups are already decided.

There are just three match days left in the group stage of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League and some groups are already basically in the bag. Thank you, CONCACAF for your fan unfriendly new three-group format.

Group 1

Aguila (El Salvador) vs. Santos Laguna (Mexico) - Wednesday, 10:00 p.m. ET

The goal difference between these two teams is 16. How is that possible after two matches apiece? Advancement to the knockout stages is a suitable alternative to promotion for Santos, but elimination doesn't quite do relegation justice. That's a shame because Aguila deserve it.

Group 2

Tauro FC (Panama) vs. Real Salt Lake (USA) - Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tauro may be without a point from their first two matches, but they played well in both. They have looked every bit like the bottom team in a group that snatches a draw that ruins their opponent's chances at advancement. Salt Lake, who trail Herediano by three points, you have been warned. If Luis Renteria pulls a goal out of his you know what, Tauro could very well be the spoiler they look so much like.

Group 3

Houston Dynamo (USA) vs. FAS (El Salvador) - Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET

The Dynamo are still undefeated at home and FAS are still awful. Ollimpia are also good, and tied atop the group with Houston. Can we just skip ahead to the final match day and let the Americans and Hondurans play?

Group 4

Marathon (Honduras) vs. Seattle Sounders (USA) - Wednesday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Seattle is five points clear of their competitors and a win away from clinching a spot in the knockout stages. While that's lovely and all for Seattle, the rest of this group is awful so it doesn't say much. Wake us in the quarterfinals.

Group 5

Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico) vs. LA Galaxy (USA) - Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET

The Galaxy showed absolutely no respect for the Islanders last time around and after 90 minutes, the Islanders gave us a great display of why. Puerto Rico was absolutely dreadful and were beaten 4-0 by a LA team that did not start a single first team player. If Bruce Arena sends a similar team to play away in Puerto Rico it will be the ultimate slap in the face, and to this point the Islanders haven't given us any reason to believe they deserve any more respect.

Three points later, the Galaxy will be a draw at Metapan away from advancing to the knockout stages. Even a respectable loss would do the trick.

Group 6

Real Esteli (Nicaragua) vs. UANL Tigres (Mexico) - Tuesday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Thankfully, Alajuelense beat Tigres in Costa Rica to keep this group interesting. Alajuelense will still have to manage a point in Mexico to give themselves a chance of going through, but that is for another day. Today's problem is why Tigres has to be bothered to play at Real Esteli.

Group 7

Municipal (Guatemala) vs. Chorrillo (Panama) - Thursday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Cool group runners up match, bros. Monterrey are still kings.

Group 8

Xelaju (Guatemala) vs. W Connection (Trinidad and Tobago) - Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET

If there is going to be a Cinderella story from this round it is going to be Xelaju. Somehow, some way, the Guatemalans managed to beat Chivas the first time around and now they sit atop the group. Now they need to take three points from W Connection to keep the dream alive. Vamos Los Superchivos!

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