After a little bit of a delay yesterday, CONCACAF announced the 8 groups that will make up the Champions League 2012/13 tournament. They made several changes for this version of the tournament, and I consider all of them to be good changes, the biggest change would be that the groups now have just 3 teams in them and that to advance to the knockout rounds you must win your group. RSL was drawn into group 2 with Costa Rica's CS Herediano and Panama's Tauro FC both teams that qualified by wining their respective championships, RSL head coach Jason Kreis seems to like the new format but also knows the danger of it:
"We're pleased to have a new format that means less games," said Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis. "It's difficult to be playing our season, with the amount of travel we have, and then to have to travel to three other places. This year, with only having to travel twice should make things a little bit better."
Kreis was quick to note, however, that fewer games does not equate to a lesser challenge.
"The games become very, very critical," he added. "There won't be any room for error."
Now the dates are still undecided for these matches but you have to believe that RSL played it smart loading up their schedule with matches earlier in the year and a light schedule (10 matches last 3 months of the season), as opposed to teams like LA who have 11, Houston who have 12 and Seattle who has 13 matches the last 3 months of the MLS regular season.
So will the light schedule help RSL? Will being in a group with travel to countries we played in last time help RSL? Will playing all our matches home and away on grass help RSL? So how do you think RSL will do in group play? How many wins will RSL get from their 4 matches?
OFF MY SOAPBOX