A record four MLS teams have advanced to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League -- the continental tournament that no MLS club has won. Yet.
Real Salt Lake's win on Tuesday meant that they will join D.C. United, the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders in next spring's quarterfinals. Mexican club Tigres's draw with Costa Rican side Herediano on Wednesday completed a quartet of Mexican sides to join the four MLS clubs.
As luck or fate would have it, the four MLS sides will now square off against the four Liga MX clubs.
Champions League quarterfinal matchups are based on the teams' group-stage records. Here's the final seeding:
- Club América (MEX) 3-0-1, 10 pts, +7 GD
- D.C. United (USA) 3-0-1, 10 pts, +6 GD
- Real Salt Lake (USA) 3-0-1, 10 pts, +3 GD
- Santos Laguna (MEX) 3-1-0, 9 pts, +9 GD
- LA Galaxy (USA) 2-0-2, 8 pts, +9 GD
- Tigres (MEX), 2-0-2, 8 points, +2 GD
- Querétaro (MEX) 2-1-1, 7 pts, +9 GD
- Seattle Sounders (USA) 2-1-1, 7 pts, +3 GD
So the quarterfinals -- each a home-and-away series -- loook like this:
First Leg (February 23-25)
- (8) Seattle Sounders vs. (1) Club América
- (7) Querétaro vs. (2) DC United
- (6) Tigres vs. (3) Real Salt Lake
- (5) LA Galaxy vs. (4) Santos Laguna
Second Leg (March 1-3)
- (1) Club América vs. (8) Seattle Sounders
- (2) DC United vs. (7) Querétaro
- (3) Real Salt Lake vs. (6) Tigres
- (4) Santos Laguna vs. (5) LA Galaxy
Traditionally, MLS clubs have struggled to defeat Mexican clubs in the CCL. Mexican teams have won all seven of the CCL tournaments held in the current format, though the Montreal Impact did beat a Liga MX team, Pachuca, on their inspired run to the final in the previous tournament.
Following the quarterfinals, the CCL bracket works out this way for the semifinals:
- Club América/Seattle Sounders vs. Santos Laguna/LA Galaxy;
- D.C. United/Querétaro vs. Real Salt Lake/Tigres.
According to CONCACAF, the tentative dates for the semifinals are March 15-17, 2016, for the first legs, and April 5-7, 2016, for the second legs.