In the days leading up to last night's FAS/Olimpia match, there were several fairly ridiculous possibilities concerning what it would take for the Dynamo to advance to the knockout round of the CCL. Most of those were contingent on the likelihood that Olimpia would beat FAS and thus CONCACAF's tiebreaker rules would kick in. Then Olimpia lost and like a fog bank burning off, things have become crystal clear.
As a writer covering the Dynamo I was dreading a complex post with several detailed explanations of what happens if, instead, it's simple. If the Dynamo beat or draw Olimpia on October 27th, they advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. If they lose, Olimpia advances. That's it.
There is some minor explanation required of course since if Olimpia wins, the two teams would be tied on seven points. If that happens, Olimpia advances because the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results. Since the first match was a draw, Olimpia would hold the H2H advantage if they were to win. Clean and easy.
I was really expecting a complicated, long-winded post trying to explain multiple levels of tiebreakers and various contingencies, but instead, that's it.
Now, assuming the Dynamo can win or draw, that would move them in to the quarterfinals which won't take place until next year. Under the new CCL system, the eight advancing teams will be ranked based on their group stage performance.
i. The eight Quarter-Finalists will be ranked 1-8 based on their standings results from the Group Stage and will be paired 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
ii. The top four Group Winners with the best records (1-4) will host the 2nd Leg matches.
The Dynamo's max point total would be 10, but several teams including Santos Laguna, Herediano, Seattle Sounders and Monterrey all have a max potential of 12 points. Winning becomes even more important because the higher you are ranked, the better chance you have of avoiding a tougher quarterfinal opponent. A draw would leave the dynamo with eight points and probably a guaranteed spot at or near the bottom of the eight teams. That would mean a likely tie against Santos, Monterrey or Seattle.
What happens if two teams are tied on points in the rankings? Glad you asked. Here's the tiebreakers for that contingency:
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
There are three other current group leaders who could finish on 10 points, the Dynamo have a better goal differential (+6) than all of them except the LA Galaxy (+7). Padding the GD against Olimpia, if they can, wouldn't hurt.
So that's it, a pretty clear picture of where things stand for the Dynamo in the CCL. Hopefully they can get a couple solid league results before the Olimpia match, so their playoff place is secured. It would be nice to have as much of a first choice roster available as possible.
If you have questions, just ask them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them all.