If the Dynamo win or draw vs. Olimpia on Tuesday night, they will finish first in Group C and advance to the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions quarterfinals. The real fun begins next March, when the Dynamo play a home-and-home series with an opponent to be determined, for the right to advance to the semifinals.
Under CONCACAF regulations, the eight group winners will advance to the quarterfinals and will be paired based on their results in group play as follows:
1. Team 1 vs. Team 8
2. Team 2 vs. Team 7
3. Team 3 vs. Team 6
4. Team 4 vs. Team 5
The top four group winners with the best records will host the second leg in the quarterfinal stage. Should two or more group stage winners finish with the same number of points, tie-breakers will be used to determined the final eight seeds. Those tie-breakers are:
1. Best Goal Difference
2. Most Goals Scored
3. Most Goals Scored Away from home
4. Most Wins
5. Most Away Wins
6. Drawing of Lots
What does this all mean for the Dynamo? Currently, Houston has 7 points in their group and has a +6 goal differential. If the Dynamo win tonight, they will finish with 10 points. Only four group winners can finish with more than ten points, so depending on how the results go over the next three days, the final seeding could come down to goal differential. If the Dynamo can win and add on to their +6 goal differential, they will go into the quarterfinal stage in a better position.
To put this into perspective, if the CCL group stage ended now, the Dynamo would be seeded sixth, behind the four teams with 9 points and behind the LA Galaxy who also have 7 points but have a +7 goal differential. A lot can happen over the next three days, so we'll revisit this after Thursday night's matches.
Hopefully I didn't confuse you too much.
Lost in Saturday's playoff clinching win over the Philadelphia Union was the fact that the 2012 Houston Dynamo set a team record for points (53) in a season. The win also moved the Dynamo to within one of tying the team record for wins in a season (15), set by the 2007 MLS Cup winning squad.
Interestingly enough, the Dynamo squad with the second lowest regular season point total (2006), was one of two Dynamo teams to win MLS Cup. I guess that lends credence to the saying that it doesn't matter how you get into the playoffs, as long as you get in.
*Won MLS Cup
On Wednesday, Brian Ching and Kroger honored the eight members of the Houston community who were chosen as Ching's Champions. The Ching's Champions initiative was started by Ching and Kroger as a way to pay tribute to those members of the Houston community who are perfoming selfless acts and asking for little in return.
Ching and Kroger selected the eight champions from the group of nominees. Each winner received a Ching's Champions medal and a four-minute shopping spree at Kroger. In total, the eight teams collected more than $7,700 worth of groceries.
Marvin Marcia - Active volunteer in his church, at the Boys and Girls club of America, local food banks and other local charitable organizations throughout the Houston area.
Susan Leining - Raised more than $20,000 over the past five years for The Snowdrop Foundation through her annual Chelsey's 5K Run.
Emily Newsome - Serves as a leader of Community Cloth, a micro-lending organization in Houston that helps refugee women create arts and crafts that they can sell to help support their families.
Gina and Mike Dockal - Started Zoey's Angels, which was founded to bring comfort to families who lose an infant child after a lengthy struggle in the hospital.
Steven David - Raises money and awareness for the Snowdrop Foundation, an organization dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer.
Gary Coffman - Organizes an annual food drive around the holiday season, which provided food for more than 150 families last year.
Renita Sheppard - Captain of Nita's Forget-Me-Nots, a walk team started in 2003 to help promote awareness and raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Jim and Debbie Abney - Raised more than $14,000 for Sammy's Supporters, a benefit to assist with the medical costs for a local family whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
For our Spanish-speaking fans, Calen Carr talk about the passion and enthusiasm of Houston Dynamo fans in the latest El Movimiento video, presented by Degree for Men.
On Saturday, CES Performance Houston, the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine and the Houston Dynamo held a grand opening event for their new sports performance building at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Fans had the opportunity to take a tour of the new 35,000 square foot facility, which includes a 5,000 square foot pro-style weight room, an 80-yard outdoor turf track and a 10,000 square foot indoor turf field.
See full highlights from the United States' 3-1 win over Guatemala Tuesday night in Kansas City. With the win, the U.S. took first place in Group A and punched their ticket to the final round of World Cup qualifying, which begins in February 2013.
Dynamo defender Andre Hainault took time out of his busy schedule with the Canadian national team to talk with the folks at MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio. Hainault talks World Cup qualifiers as well as the Dynamo's quest to win both MLS Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League.
Hainault joins the show around the 27:00 mark.