Kljestan scores late, MLS’ CONCACAF Champions League fortunes a mixed bag

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Some of us — and we may be a niche audience — would passionately like to see an MLS team, preferably American, in the FIFA Club World Cup.

It’s one of our only chances of seeing Major League Soccer against clubs from outside this hemisphere in a meaningful competition.

In 2014, we saw CONCACAF side Cruz Azul smoked by Real Madrid. In 2012, it was Monterrey falling to Chelsea. 2009 saw Barca topping Atlante.

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Club America gets the shot come December in Japan, but we’re hoping to see our chance at the 2017 Club World Cup in UAE.

Montreal gave us hope in 2014, picking up a road goal against Club America before falling in the second leg of the final. That was just the second finalist in the CCL era.

Thanks to Sporting KC and Vancouver being drawn together in Group C, a maximum of four MLS teams could advance to the CCL quarterfinals this Spring.

So where do we stand after Thursday? A little of this, a little of that.

New York Red Bulls — GOOD

Sacha Kljestan’s late goal lifted the Red Bulls into the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League with a game to spare.

Portland Timbers — BAD

Coach Caleb Porter may be lamenting the penalty calls against his Timbers on Wednesday, but their 4-2 loss at Saprissa means Portland likely needs to win both of its remaining Group B games to catch the Costa Rican side and move onto the quarters.

Vancouver Whitecaps — GOOD
Sporting KC — BAD

The ‘Caps beat KC 2-1 on Tuesday to advance from Group C. Unfortunately, that means a deep KC squad which was going for it this year will not move onto the quarters.

FC Dallas — GOOD

Toros, Hoops, Burn… whatever you call Oscar Pareja’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champs, FC Dallas leads Group H with a pair of matches to play. That pair will be home and away against Guatemalan club Suchitepéquez. The home match is first, on Sept. 28, with the visit to Estadio Carlos Salazar Hijo just under a month later.