While an MLS team hasn’t won the CONCACAF Champions League since 2000, they have looked extremely strong in the group stages this year.
Sporting and Portland both kept clean sheets tonight and currently sit at the top of their respective groups. Still early in the competition and with a lot of soccer to be played, the MLS sides have impressed so far against their CONCACAF competition.
Sporting KC 3, Real Esteli 0
Claudio Bieler scored a brace for Sporting as they easily handled the Nicaraguan club. Sal Zizzo topped off the scoring in the 77th minute to give Sporting a great chance at advancing out of the group stage.
Sporting KC can advance with a win or tie against Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica. They can also advance with a one-goal defeat.
Graham Zusi was a nightmare down the flank for the Esteli defense, who couldn’t keep up with his pace throughout the match. The U.S. international consistently beat his mark and delivered balls into the box, often troubling the uneasy Esteli defenders. Unfortunately for Sporting, Zusi received a yellow card and will be suspended for their next match against Saprissa.
Portland Timbers 6, Alpha United 0
Portland moved into sole possession of first place with a convincing win over Guyanese side Alpha United.
Up 2-0 at halftime, Caleb Porter’s squad came out even stronger in the second, scoring four goals while absolutely dominating a much weaker Alpha side. Norberto Paparatto netted two second half goals while the wily veteran Jack Jewsbury scored his first goal for Portland since 2012.
The Timbers have dominated their group so far with three wins in three games while outscoring their opposition 14-3. A point will do for Portland in their final game against Club Olimpia in Honduras on October 21st.