With the FIFA break complete, all the leagues around CONCACAF are back into full swing this week. A number of them feature some very intriguing contests of league leaders squaring off. The busy day, as usual, is Saturday, which will feature for only the second time this season all 12 USSF Division-2 clubs in action on the same day, including league-leading Austin traveling to face Champions League side Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is coming off a midweek upset, 2-1, at home to Montreal. Also in action midweek were four MLS clubs as Chicago and Toronto finished in a scoreless stalemate Wednesday with Real Salt Lake and Seattle doing the same a night later, putting RSL in a three-way tie atop the league. The MLS action for the week finishes up with all the remaining contests on Saturday, featuring a showdown between Eastern and Western Conference leaders - at the beginning of the week - Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy, who both enter the match level at 13-5-5.
In Mexico, the match of the week is one of the four matches across CONCACAF Friday evening (1 MLS, 2 Panama), featuring the preseason favorite Toluca hitting the road to face promoted darling Necaxa, which has gotten off to an impressive start despite having only one win (1-3-2). The following night, the league’s lone unbeaten, 3-3-0 Monterrey, will face arguably the stiffest test of the young season when the club visits Tigres.
Moving further south into Central America, several more fixtures feature top sides facing one another. The close-knit races in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will see some drama.
In El Salvador, the top five clubs are separated by just two points with Vista Hermosa traveling to meet Once Municipal in a meeting of two of the three clubs tied for third Sunday. Three clubs are tied for first in Guatemala, where after seven games, the top eight teams, amazingly, are within three points of one another in a league of parity that has three clubs tied for first. Two of those three, Comunicaciones and Juventud Retalteca square off Sunday.
The Honduran league also features no runaway leader yet as the top six are separated by three points. Four of them will meet in a pair of contests this weekend. Third-place Marathon Saturday hosts promoted side Necaxa, which is tied for first with Platense, which is on the road versus fifth-place Olimpia on Sunday.
(TSB Power Rankings in parenthesis)
Midweek Results (home-away): Wednesday MLS: (26) Chicago Fire 0-0 Toronto FC (14)… USSF-D2: (23) Puerto Rico Islanders 1-2 Montreal Impact (50) – Thursday MLS: (34) Seattle Sounders 0-0 Real Salt Lake (4)
Coming Up Around CONCACAF
Friday, September 10
Major League Soccer: (32) New England Revolution @ Chivas USA (45)
Mexico: (11) Toluca @ Necaxa (17)
Panama: (69) Chepo @ Chorrillo (74)… (NR) Alianza @ Atletico Veraguense (92)
Saturday, September 11
Major League Soccer: (55) DC United @ Toronto FC (14)… (20) Colorado Rapids @ New York Red Bulls (10)… (26) Chicago Fire @ Philadelphia Union (42)… (44) Houston Dynamo @ Kansas City Wizards (29)… (3) FC Dallas @ San Jose Earthquakes (21)… (12) Columbus Crew @ Los Angeles Galaxy (22)
USSF Division-2: (33) Vancouver Whitecaps @ Crystal Palace Baltimore (98)… (41) Portland Timbers @ Carolina RailHawks (53)… (87) Tampa Bay Rowdies @ Rochester Rhinos (46)… (50) Montreal Impact @ Miami FC Blues (NR)… (31) Austin Aztex @ Puerto Rico Islanders (23)… (99) NSC Minnesota Stars @ AC St Louis (82)
Mexico: (2) Santos Laguna @ Queretaro (35)… (15) Puebla @ Jaguares Chiapas (27)… (6) Monterrey @ Tigres UANL (5)… (9) Chivas Guadalajara @ Pachuca (19)… (38) Estudiantes Tecos @ Atlante (28)
Costa Rica: (86) Limon @ Barrio Mexico (37)… (NR) Perez Zeledon @ Deportivo Saprissa (59)… (70) Santos de Guapiles @ Herediano (54)
El Salvador: (79) FAS @ Universidad de El Salvador (NR)… (43) Isidro Metapan @ Aguila (73)
Guatemala: (72) Heredia @ Xinabajul (63)
Honduras: (40) Necaxa @ Marathon (25)… (36) Motagua @ Vida (93)
Panama: (76) San Francisco @ Sporting San Miguelito (68)… (30) Aribe Unido @ Atletico Chiriqui (96)
Sunday, September 12
Mexico: (18) America @ Morelia (7)… (16) San Luis @ Pumas UNAM (8)
Costa Rica: (13) Alajuelense @ Universidad de Costa Rica (NR)… (88) Puntarenas @ Cartagines (83)… (56) San Carlos @ Brujas (58)
El Salvador: (67) Alianza @ Atletico Balboa (NR)… (65) Firpo @ Atletico Marte (94)… (75) Vista Hermosa @ Once Municipal (80)
Guatemala: (49) Comunicaciones @ Juventud Retalteca (64)… (78) Mictlan @ Municipal (48)… (NR) Penarol La Mesilla @ Malacateco (66)… (NR) Suchitepequez @ Xelaju (81)… (62) Marquense @ Universidad San Carlos (NR)
Honduras: (84) Victoria @ Deportes Savio (85)… (52) Platense @ Olimpia (24)… (60) Real Espana @ Hispano (95)
Monday, September 13 - Panama: (97) Plaza Amador @ Tauro (67)