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Impact gets favourable Champions League draw

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Getting out of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage is definitely mission possible for the Montreal Impact.

The newly crowned Canadian champions founds out Monday that they will face the San Jose Earthquakes and a to-be-decided Guatemalan league qualifier in CCL Group 5. The Impact could not have asked for a kinder draw.

The Earthquakes went into Pot A as the 2012 MLS regular-season champions. But the Earthquakes are struggling this season. The Impact and Quakes faced each other earlier this year, and played to a 2-2 draw.

But, the Quakes are currently out of a playoff spot — and their slow start means they’ll have to play all-put throughout the summer in order to get back in the chase. And that means coach Frank Yallop will likely need to make some tough squad decisions when MLS and CCL games come fast and furious.

Meanwhile, the Impact sits atop the Eastern Conference and, if the team continues at a league-best points-per-game pace, could find itself in a position where, come summer, it can spot players in and out of the lineup in order to make a decent CCL run.

Of course, being in Pot B (the pool for second-tier seeds), the Impact ran the risk of facing a Mexican side in the group stage — and avoided that fate. Really, with the Quakes’ struggles this season, the draw was ideal for Montreal — who has to enter the group stage as the favourite to advance.

CONCACAF places teams in groups by country, not by league. That’s why two MLS teams can be in the same group. CONCACAF simply sees Montreal as a Canadian champion and the Quakes as a U.S. qualifier.

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One Comment

  1. Nick Smith (@nas1787)

    June 4, 2013 at 4:42 am

    My thoughts exactly when I saw the draw. Things are certainly aligning for Montreal to make a good run…

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