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The Daily Dirt February 20, 2018: Champions Leagues

So. Much. Soccer.

Chelsea v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Do you enjoy high stakes knockout round soccer? Well boy does today have a treat for you.

Not only does the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 resume today with some tasty match-ups that includes Chelsea taking on Barcelona, but the only part of the CONCACAF Champions League we care about kicks off today as well.

Bayern Munich take on Besiktas in the other UCL RO16 tie today. That match can be seen on FS2 or ESPN Deportes with the aforementioned glamour tie of Barca and Chelsea airing on FS1. Both matches kick off at 2:45 et.

Later on in the evening, the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 kicks off with an all-MLS match-up as Toronto FC (possibly MLS’ best chance at winning their first SCCL) take on the Colorado Rapids. That will kick off at 10:00 p.m. and air on UnivisionDeportes.com.

Hopefully one day soon we’ll get to see Atlanta United in the CONCACAF Champions League. Thanks to a new set of qualification rules, Atlanta could have their chance in the 2019 edition of the tournament with a good regular season in 2018. The combined points leader in MLS (who isn’t already qualified for the tournament) between 2017 and 2018 will get the final berth into the SCCL. Currently, NYCFC hold a two-point lead over both Atlanta and the Chicago Fire for that spot. If the Five Stripes can overtake that deficit and fend off every other club in the points race, they’ll be playing CONCACAF’s best this time next season.

On to the dirt...

Domestic

Orlando City appear to be strengthening their defense with a Bundesliga experienced center back. Lamine Sane is reportedly set to join the Lions from Werder Bremen where he ran into some disciplinary issues and was told he was free to leave. (The Mane Land)

Steven Goff of the Washington Post is hearing whispers that the New York Red Bulls are looking to acquire Vancouver Whitecaps and former U.S. U-23 defender Tim Parker. Goff says that negotiations could involve Felipe or allocation money going the other way.

Chris Wingert is the latest MLS veteran to announce his retirement. Read his farewell Twitter post here.

International

Sergio Aguero is in the news for pushing away a fan for invading his personal space on the field of play after Wigan upset Man City in the FA Cup. English tabloids are calling it a “punch”. Judge for yourself.

Must-watch video of the day

TITO VILLALBA HIGHLIGHT REEL HYPE! (Side-note: This youtuber makes great Atlanta United focused videos. I highly recommend you subscribe to them)