Kick Off: TFC advance in CCL, can Dallas follow? | Vela fit for LAFC opener

Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:

Reds ease into CCL quarters

Toronto FC are on to the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League following a scoreless draw against Colorado at BMO Field on Tuesday night. Their 2-0 aggregate victory sets up a monster quarterfinal duel with Liga MX powers Tigres. RECAP

If FC Dallas want to join their MLS colleagues in the Champions League elite eight, they will need to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit in Wednesday night's home return against Tauro FC (8 pm ET; univisiondeportes.com, go90.com). The Texans, who remain without Kellyn Acosta, have yet to beat the Panamanian side in three tries. PREVIEW

TFC the early kings of the hill

Speaking of the mighty Reds, it should surprise nobody that they stand at the top of our initial MLS Power Rankings. On their heels? Eastern Conference rivals NYCFC and Atlanta United. READ MORE

Bradley: Vela ready for opener

With the club's first ever league match rapidly approaching, LAFC coach Bob Bradley has broken some very good news. The boss expects both star man Carlos Vela and starting defender Walker Zimmerman to beat minor knocks to make Sunday's opening weekend trip to Seattle. READ MORE

The new kids on the MLS block did move to shore up their midfield stable on Tuesday, striking a deal to land Colombia Under-20 skipper Eduard Atuesta from Independiente Medellin. READ MORE

SKC shooting to break playoff barrier

Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle's countdown tour around the league has reached Sporting KC, where they need to find their finishing boots if they aim to avoid yet another first round flame-out in the postseason. READ MORE | BEN BAER'S SEASON PREVIEW

Tim Melia (left) and Ike Opara (right) will be anchoring the SKC defense for the foreseeable future | USA Today Images

Sporting were also busy on the roster front, signing key contributors Tim Melia and Ike Opara, as well as youngster Daniel Salloi, to new contracts. They also waived defender Kevin Ellis, paving the way for him to potentially join another MLS side. READ MORE

Fire staying on No. 10 hunt

Chicago GM Nelson Rodriguez has let it be known that he remains on the lookout for a playmaker to lead the Fire attack, and Sam Stejskal says the Fire are still hoping to acquire unsettled New England ace Lee Nguyen. READ MORE

Sounders add Kim to defense corps

As expected, Seattle have boosted their depth at the back by completing the capture of South Korea center back Kim Kee-hee from Chinese FA Cup champs Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. READ MORE

Loons, Quakes open int'l slots

Star Tribune scribe Megan Ryan reports that Minnesota United have shed the contract of defender Vadim Demidov, gaining both ample cap space and a sorely needed international spot on the roster. READ MORE

Meanwhile, their Western Conference rivals San Jose were able to become roster compliant thanks to green cards issued to Anibal Godoy and Florian Jungwirth, which brought their total number of international players down to eight. READ MORE

European suitor for D.C.'s Durkin?

According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Portuguese giants Benfica are sniffing around (in Portuguese) D.C. United prospect Chris Durkin. The 18-year-old academy product, who has logged time on loan in Richmond, would become the second US player on the Eagles' roster after another hot midfield prospect, Keaton Parks. READ MORE

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