The first leg of the quarterfinals has rolled through, and I must say the results were unexpected. Instead of a tight Tijuana – New York match, the Bulls work through them; instead of Guadalajara stomping Seattle, the Sounders found a way to win; and instead of Toronto fighting from behind, we saw an opening triumph for the Reds.
With the success of the MLS-sides over their Mexican foes, there is a chance of 3 MLS teams making the semi-finals. Taking the elo, New York could face Seattle while Toronto would battle América. Of course, that assumes continued victory by the MLS teams, which may be a larger challenge while on the road.
The elo, again, undervalues the Mexican competition, with Tijuana one loss from dropping below previously eliminated Motagua and Santa Tecla. Tauro’s plummet toward the bottom is indicative of the large swings that can happen when starting points aren’t the most accurate. As seen in the pot rankings, América started at the top, while little Tauro began in 13th.
As of last week’s matches, five teams have improved their points totals for their seeded positions. América has gained a point for MEX3, Toronto has gained 2 for CAN1, and Tauro’s run has provided Panama with an additional 4 points, leaving them just shy of entering the 1st pot. Unless something shocking happens this week, that is likely the end of their rise in 2018.
If Toronto and New York manage to win over Tigres and Tijuana, they will manage to move into 4th & 5th respectively, dropping the MEX4 position to 6th. This would be a pretty substantial move, providing both CAN1 and USA3 some pretty preferential seeding in 2019.
The quarterfinals will be decided by the end of Wednesday. Hopefully we won’t see TFC affected by Montezuma’s Revenge.