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.