COLUMBUS OH - SEPTEMBER 21: Rafael Figueroa #19 of Santos Laguna and Andres Mendoza #10 of the Columbus Crew race to a loose ball as Jorge Manjarrez #4 of Santos Laguna watches on September 21 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio. Mendoza had the only goal as Columbus defeated Santos Laguna 1-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rapids CCL group came a day and two games closer to its final formation yesterday as the first legs of Santos Laguna (Mexico) vs. Olimpia (Hondouras) and Isidro Metapan (El Salvador) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders took place. Both games ended with two goal leads at the end fashion with Santos Laguna (3-1) and Metapan (2-0) taking home the wins and likely the play in titles as well with both Olimpia and Puerto Rico looking on terrible form during the games.
Colorado - who made their CCL spot on the back of winning 2010's MLS Cup - is already guaranteed to be joined in the group stage by Honduran side Real Espana, who won the 2010-2011 Honduran Apertura. Unfortunately for the Honduras fans out there, it's not looking like a second team from the country is likely, and after the two games today it's looking likely that the Rapids will be able to avoid 'giant killers' Puerto Rico as well as Olimpia.
The first group stage games between the teams that actually make it into the final Group B will be played on August 16th.