Eight more matches in the books with big wins for MLS as DC United, Portland, Montreal and Sporting KC were all victorious. All four clubs now find themselves in the driver's seat of their respective groups meaning it's highly likely that MLS will have four teams in the Round of 8. In other action, América dropped a dime against Puerto Rico Bayamón while Luis Gabriel Rey, Martín Zúñiga and Marvin Ávila all notched hat tricks in their respective matches. Two match days remain in this round of the tournament.
DC United 2 Waterhouse 1
DC United needs just one point in their next two matches against Tauro FC to clinch a place in the next round of the Champions League. Fabián Espíndola scored twice, the first on a brilliant individual effort that saw him split three defenders and deftly loft a shot over the outstretched hands of Richard McCallum, and the second a header off a cross from Ghanaian defender Samuel Inkoom, as United defeated Jamaica's Waterhouse FC in Kingston, 2-1. Things got exciting late as DC's Taylor Kemp was sent off in the 70th minute, and Hughan Gray converted the ensuing free kick. But Bill Hamid and the United defense would hold from there though as the U.S. keeper made 6 saves to preserve the victory. DC will host Tauro FC next Wednesday.
Portland 4 Olimpia 2
Will Johnson had a goal and two assists, Maximiliano Urruti scored a pair, and Gastón Fernández delivered a pair of assists as the Timbers overpowered Olimpia 4-2. With the win, Portland now needs just one point from their remaining two matches to advance to the second round. With one of those matches coming against already-eliminated Alpha United, who Portland defeated 4-1 in Guyana last month, the odds appear to be in their favor. Urruti leads the Timbers with 3 goals in the tournament. Portland hosts Alpha United next Tuesday.
Cruz Azul 3 Chorrillo 0
In what equated to a must-win game for the defending champions, Cruz Azul exacted some revenge against Chorrillo, defeating them 3-0 in Mexico City. Mauro Formica, Ismael Valadéz and Marco Fabián all scored goals for The Blues. The group is still wide open at this point with Chorrillo still able to advance with a win over Alajuelense and a draw between the Costa Rica power and Cruz Azul. A pair of draws will send Alajuelense through while Cruz Azul can advance with a win over Alajuelense.
América 10 Puerto Rico Bayamón 1
In the biggest blowout of the tournament thus far, América leveled Puerto Rico's Bayamón FC 10-1 behind hat tricks from Luis Gabriel Rey AND Martín Zúñiga. Rey's three goals all came in the opening 35 minutes. América finished the match with 31 shots, 17 of which were on frame. Gonzalo Díaz added a goal and three assists while Emilio Sánchez added two more goals. Hosman Ramos broke up the shut out with a goal in the 48th minute, but the damage had already been done at that point thanks to six first half goals.
Montreal 1 New York Red Bulls 0
Montreal won their third straight Champions League match with Marco Di Vaio once again supplying the offense. Di Vaio has scored 4 of Montreal's 5 goals in their three wins, but this was perhaps his biggest goal of the tournament as it puts the Impact in the driver's seat in terms of being able to advance to the next round out of Group 3. New York must now beat CD FAS in El Salvador AND knock off Montreal in a rematch in October. A failure to pick up all six points by the Red Bulls will send the Impact through.
Municipal 3 Real España 0
Guatemalan striker Marvin Ávila netted a hat trick to give Municipal a 3-0 win over Real España and keep them alive in Group 1. After drawing in Honduras a month ago when they could only muster a Carlos Ruiz penalty kick, Ávila supplied more than enough offense to send his club to victory. Pachuca still leads Group 1 with 6 points and 2 matches remaining.
Sporting Kansas City 3 Saprissa 1
Spaniard Toni Dovale scored twice in the second half to give Sporting a huge win at home over Saprissa, their top competition in Group 2. Sporting is now level with the Costa Rican power atop the group with a game in hand. Dom Dwyer, second in MLS in scoring, also scored for the hosts.
Herediano 4 Isidro Metapán 2
Victor Nuñez and Yendrick Ruiz each notched braces as Herediano overcame an early 1-0 deficit to knock off Isidro Metapán 4-2. Herediano, despite the late invite to the tournament, sits atop Group 7 and can win the group with a strong showing next week when they host León in Costa Rica. The two clubs drew 1-1 in Mexico last month with León needing an 89th minute equalizer to salvage a point.
9/23 Sporting Kansas City vs Real Estelí
9/23 - Portland Timbers vs Alpha United
9/24 - Pachuca vs Municipal
9/24 - CD FAS vs New York Red Bulls
9/24 - DC United vs Tauro FC
9/24 - Herediano vs León
9/25 - Chorrillo vs Alajuelense
9/25 - Puerto Rico Bayamón vs Comunicaciones