*The Portland Timbers will feel right at home tonight against D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
*Despite the need to score goals and win, the Timbers are using words and phrases like: physical, tougher, grittier, battlefield, nasty, battle, throw the gloves off, bare knuckles, getting in someone’s face and fight tooth and nail. What is this, MMA?
*Toronto FC, enduing another poor MLS campaign, advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a surprising 3-0 victory at FC Dallas in the group finale.
“If Toronto had had that kind of performance all season, they wouldn’t be finishing the season up this weekend,” FCD Coach Schellas Hyndman said. “They played unselfishly. They bought into the system. They were physical. They did everything they needed to do.”
So TFC and the Seattle Sounders are through to the knockout stage, while Dallas is out. The Colorado Rapids needs to win at Santos Laguna tonight to advance and the Los Angeles must win at Motagua on Thursday to secure passage.
For FIFA rankings, NCAA upsets and TV/online listings.....
*The U.S. national team dropped three slots to No. 34 in the latest FIFA rankings. Spain, Netherlands and Germany remain at the top. How about Bermuda leaping 57 slots to No. 132 after upsetting Trinidad & Tobago, which somehow moved up one place?
*A day after second-ranked North Carolina was upset by Davidson, the No. 1 men’s college soccer team, Connecticut, fell at West Virginia and fourth-ranked Akron lost to Michigan. The door is open for No. 3 Maryland to claim the top spot with a victory at UNC on Friday night.
*Soccer on TV and online:
D.C. United-Portland 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet/DC, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona-Plzen 2:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet/DC, Fox Sports Net Fox Deportes, foxsoccer.tv (tape at 5 p.m. on Fox Soccer)
Marseille-Arsenal 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer
Chelsea-Genk 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer, foxsoccere.tv
AC Milan-BATE 2:45 p.m. foxsoccer.tv
Bayer Leverkusen-Valencia 2:45 p.m. foxsoccer.tv
Olympiakos-Borussia Dortmund 2:45 p.m. foxsoccer.tv
Porto-APOEL 2:45 p.m. foxsoccer.tv
Shakhtar Donetsk-Zenit St. Petersburg 2:45 p.m. foxsoccer.tv
CONCACAF Champions League
Santos Laguna-Colorado 8 p.m. Fox Soccer, Telefutura
Pumas-Tauro 10 p.m. Telefutura
Herediano-Comunicaciones 10 p.m. Galavision