Colorado Rapids Eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League

Pictured: Omar Cummings after watching tape of himself against Santos

The Colorado Rapids have been eliminated from the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League knockout stages due to Isidro Metapán's 3-2 win over Real España. The fixture at Estadio Jorge Calero Suárez was in doubt due to heavy rain early in the week in El Salvador. Metapán became the first team from El Salvador to reach the knockout rounds of the CCL.

The halftime score was 0-0, and early in the 2nd half Paolo Suárez and Edder Delgado traded goals to make the score 1-1. Ramon Sanchez scored in the 68th minute and Suárez scored an insurance goal to make the score 3-1 in the 82nd minute. Real España made matters interesting in stoppage time as Maynor Martinez tallied in stoppage time, but in the end it proved to be nothing more than a late consolation. 

Colorado needed a draw to advance to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament. Isidro Metapán, a team that the Rapids defeated twice in the tournament, will move on with a total of 9 points. Colorado finished with 7 points, while Real España ended their campaign with 5 points. Santos Laguna topped the group with 13 points. 

Colorado finished with a 2-3-1 record in the tournament. The campaign started brightly as the Rapids came back to win 3-2 over Isidro Metapán in the group opener. However, as the team was in Honduras, Real España scored a late goal to tie the Rapids 1-1 in the second group match. Colorado should have fared better at home against Real España but shockingly lost 2-1 to the Honduran minnows. The fixtures against Real España are what ultimately doomed the Rapids into not advancing past the group stage of CCL.

The only way for the Rapids to get back into the regions top club tournament would be to reach the 2011 MLS Cup Final. Seattle Sounders FC won the 2011 US Open Cup and LA Galaxy have won the Supporter's Shield. The other CCL slots include the MLS Cup Champion and the MLS Cup Runner-Up. 

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