2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League, Matchday 3: Preview

The CONCACAF Champions League group stage reaches the halfway point this week and some teams are looking to grab a stranglehold of their group

We're through two match days in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League and it's time to start separating the teams. As the team finish up the first half of group play, every last place team is still within striking distance of the first place team. That won't be the case for long though. After this week there will be some massive gaps between teams as some grab a stranglehold of their groups, while others near elimination.

Of all the matches this week, the most intriguing has to be the Los Angeles Galaxy heading south to take on Morelia. Thus far in the tournament, MLS teams are undefeated in Mexico and now the league's top team will look to make it three wins from three matches for the league in Mexico. It won't be easy though, especially with Juninho out with a suspension and in the midst of a tough stretch in which they play two matches a week for more than a month. Morelia isn't playing very well though, despite a win on Saturday, so they can be had.

It was expected that the Colorado Rapids and Santos Laguna would lead Group B, but Santos have struggled. Their manager was fired and now they have  Benjamin Galindo in charge. Metapan have hopped into the mix now and are even on points with Santos in second place, while dropped points against Real Espana has left Colorado just a point in front of the two. That sets up Tuesday's vital match in Mexico with the Rapids taking on a Santos team that remains very talented and easily the most talented in the group. Can the Rapids keep up? Maybe they won't have to if Santos' continues to underachieve.

Elsewhere, UNAM Pumas might have to start taking the competition seriously when they host Toronto FC considering they have just one point from two matches. If they play their first team it is hard to see them dropping points against the Reds, but they've played almost all reserves and youth players in their first two matches. Do they care about the Champions League so little that they will do it again?

In Group D action, Monterrey will be charged with getting points in Guatemala when they visit Comunicaciones. There's no doubt that Monterrey are the better team and as the defending champions, they have always taken the Champions league seriously, but getting results away from home isn't as easy as it once was for Mexican teams. With both stuck in second place on three points, these could be crucial points on the line in Guatemala City.

Group A

Monarcas Morelia vs. LA Galaxy: Tuesday, 8 pm ET

CD Motagua vs. Alajuelense: Thursday, 10 pm ET

Group B

Real Espana vs. Isidro Metapan: Tuesday, 10 pm ET

Colorado Rapids vs. Santos Laguna: Tuesday, 10 pm ET

Group C

FC Dallas vs. Tauro: Wednesday, 8 pm ET

UNAM Pumas vs. Toronto FC: Wednesday, 8 pm ET

Group D

Herediano vs. Seattle Sounders: Wednesday, 10 pm ET

Comunicaciones vs. Monterey: Wednesday, 10 pm ET

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