Saturday, May 26, 2012

Winless Toronto FC is Champions League Bound

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The 2012 MLS Season has been nothing short of a disaster for Toronto FC. The Reds have failed to earn a single point through 9 matches getting outscored 21-7 over that span. Yet despite their struggles, Toronto's going to be playing in the Champions League for a fourth straight season after they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2012 Canadian Championship Final. After drawing 1-1 in the first leg of the Championship Round, 21 year old Bermudian Reggie Lambe broke a scoreless tied in the 83rd minute of the second leg to send Toronto through to the Champions League. Toronto becomes the 21st team, and fifth squad from MLS, to earn a berth in the upcoming Tournament with only the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship - which will produce the final three tournament berths - yet to be decided. Toronto is looking to build on a strong showing in the 2011-12 Champions League where they reached the semifinals before falling to Santos Laguna (Mexico).

Here's a quick look at the 21 teams who have qualified for the 2012-13 Champions League that will begin play on July 31st.

Tigres de la UANL - Mexico - 2011 Apertura Champion
Santos Laguna - Mexico - 2012 Clausura Champion, 2011 Apertura Runner-Up
Guadalajara - Mexico - Non-finalist w/ Best Regular Season Record in 2011 Apertura
Monterrey - Mexico - 2012 Clausura Runner-Up

Los Angeles Galaxy - USA - 2011 MLS Cup Champion, 2011 MLS Supporters' Shield Champion
Seattle Sounders FC - USA - 2011 MLS Supporters' Shield Runner-Up, 2011 U.S. Open Cup Champion
Houston Dynamo - USA - 2011 MLS Cup Runner-Up
Real Salt Lake - USA - 2011 MLS Supporters' Shield Third Place

Toronto FC - Canada - 2012 Canadian Championship Champion

Isidro Metapán - El Salvador - 2011 Apertura Champion
Águila - El Salvador - 2012 Clausura Champion
FAS - El Salvador - Non-Champion w/ Best Aggregate Record in 2011-12 Season

Alajuelense - Costa Rica - 2011 Invierno Champion
Herediano - Costa Rica - 2012 Verano Champion

Olimpia - Honduras - 2011 Apertura Champion, 2012 Clausura Champion
Marathón - Honduras - Non-Champion w/ Best Aggregate Record in 2011-12 Season

Municipal - Guatemala - 2011 Apertura Champion
Xelajú - Guatemala - 2012 Clausura Champion

Chorrillo - Panama - 2011 Apertura Champion
Tauro - Panama - 2012 Clausura Champion

Real Estelí - Nicaragua - Champion w/ Better Aggregate Record in 2011-12 Season

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