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CONCACAF Champions League: American Sides cannot avoid Mexican Teams

The draw for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League was held yesterday and it is entirely possible all five American representatives, three of whom must qualify for the groups stage through the play in stage will all face Mexican teams in group play. Ironically enough, Toronto FC if they qualify for the tournament has as good a chance as any American based team to advance win their group. MLS sides that are largely filled with American squad players have proven over time they can not compete with Mexican or even the better Central American clubs in international competition. But Toronto FC, who is arguably the deepest team in MLS also has a number of European players that are likely to perform better in these tough international circumstances. In addition, Toronto will the kind of advantage in the home leg that New England and Chivas USA could only dream about it.

The other very deep team in MLS is New England and while I am tempted to tip them for a deep run, the lack of a true home field advantage could doom the club. Drawing Atlante as the Mexican team in the group which potentially features New England and the CanadaCup winner is a lucky break: Atlante is the only Mexican club I can see struggling in this competition.

Here is the draw:

Group A
USA2: D.C. United
CRC1: Deportivo Saprissa
Series 4 Winner: Cruz Azul or Hankook Verdes
Series 8 Winner: Isidro Metapan or Olimpia/Marathon

Group B
USA1: Houston Dynamo
SLV1: CD Luis Angel Firpo
Series 1 Winner: Jalapa/Municipal or San Francisco FC
Series 5 Winner: Harbour View FC or Pumas UNAM

Group C
MEX1: Atlante FC
HON1: CD OlĂ­mpia or CD Marathon
Series 2 Winner: Joe Public FC or New England Revolution
Series 7 Winner: CAN1 or NCA1

Group D
MEX2: Club Santos Laguna
GUA1: CSD Municipal or Deportivo Jalapa
Series 3 Winner: LD Alajuelense or Puerto Rico Islanders
Series 6 Winner: Chivas USA or Tauro FC

Quarter-Final Predictions

A1 Saprissa defeats B2 Houston

A2 Cruz Azul defeats B1 Pumas

C1 Toronto FC defeats D2 LD Alajuelense

D1 Santos defeats C2 New England Revoltuion

SEMI FINALS

Cruz Azul defeats Saprissa

Santos defeats Toronto FC

FINALS

Santos defeats Cruz Azul

There you have it. A very early prediction of Edgar Castillio and Santos as the inaugural North American Champions League winners.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Leagues: Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

2 Responses to CONCACAF Champions League: American Sides cannot avoid Mexican Teams

  1. Berlin says:

    This competition sounds great, now if we can only get it in sync with the teams being sent to the other two international tourney’s we might have a respectable format for once. It would make the league and the teams stand up and take stock of where it really sits in terms of quality if a third/half the league has to go abroad and get slammed. Sending the same two teams to every competition isn’t helping anyone. Point taken on the depth issue.

  2. Footballer says:

    Berlin: What the hell are you talking about? What other 2 international tourneys? The UEFA CL and the Liberators Cup? It is in sync for the most part. Too bad the Club World Cup comes 6 months later.

    Half the league? 4 teams are not half. Are u ok man? And yes, they got slammed. Very indicative of the level of football of the league.

    Sending the same two teams? Well damn them for being good! The league doesn’t “send” teams, the teams have to EARN their spots. This isn’t WWE. Are you saying Don Garber should put KC over or give the Galaxy a push? You are weird.

    Anyway, bumping this thread so we can see the OP’s predictions. Lookin’ pretty good, except for TFC.

    The ConcaChampions has been pretty fun. Its winner may someday win the CWC.

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