CONCACAF.com provides an offering of storylines for you to follow during domestic league action this weekend:
While Toronto FC (17W-8D-3L, 59 points) has built a nine-point lead atop Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference standings, Vancouver Whitecaps (13-5-9, 44) is tied for first place in the Western Conference with the Portland Timbers. Whitecaps FC will look to make it four wins in a row Saturday, when the Columbus Crew visits BC Place.
Can first-place Herediano (5-3-0, 18) remain unbeaten in the Invierno with a win on Saturday over visiting Perez Zeledon (4-2-2, 14)?
First-place Alianza (6-3-0, 21) has a six-point lead over second-place Isidro Metapan, the hottest team in the Apertura on the strength of three consecutive wins. Can the Jaguares make it four on the trot Sunday against visiting Chalatenango (2-3-4, 9)? Also, keep an eye on Luis Angel Firpo (2-4-3, 10), which is unbeaten in its last four games.
It’s a top-of-the-table Invierno clash on Sunday as second-place Motagua (2-4-0, 10, GD+2) hosts leader Real España (4-1-1, 13), a winner in its last three outings. Don’t forget about promoted UPNFM (3-1-2, 10, GD0), which is unbeaten in its last four games to climb into third place.
In the Liga MX Apertura, first-place Monterrey (6-2-0, 20) might be unbeaten, but third-place Club Tijuana is the hottest side. After opening the season winless through four matches, the Xolos have reeled off four straight victories. They will look to stay in form on Friday against second-place visitor, Club America (5-1-2, 16).
Don’t look now, but second-place Walter Ferretti (5-1-1, 16) has two games in hand and trails first-place Real Esteli (8-1-0, 25) by only nine points. Ferretti will host last-place San Francisco (1-2-6, 5) on Saturday.
The question is: how will first-place Plaza Amador (5-4-0, 19) bounce back from Thursday’s 7-1 loss to visiting Olimpia in their Scotiabank CONCACAF League semifinal, first-leg encounter? The Leones conceded more goals in that game than in nine Apertura matches combined (7-6). Up next: a visit to third-place Chorrillo FC (4-3-2, 15) on Sunday.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
On Sunday, T&T’s 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League representatives fourth-place San Juan Jabloteh (4-2-2, 14) and fifth-place Central FC (2-4-2, 10) will square off at the Barataria Recreational Ground in San Juan.
Can Columbus Crew SC (13-4-12, 43) stay on a serious roll? The Eastern Conference’s fourth-place side is unbeaten in five straight games, but faces a stiff test Saturday at Western Conference co-leader Vancouver Whitecaps FC (13-5-9, 44).