2018 CONCACAF Champions League Draw, Matches Announced
CONCACAF conducted this evening the official draw for the newly re-formatted CONCACAF Champions League, at the Univision Deportes Studios in Miami, Florida.¬†
The 2018 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League will be the first to feature the recently developed knockout style competition. The home-and-away format will demand the highest level of performance from the participating clubs from the first kickoff, resulting in a quickly evolving competition with Round of 16 and quarterfinals matches in February and March, followed by the semifinals and final in April.¬†
Monday‚Äôs gala event, which sorted the sixteen qualified clubs into eight parings for the first round of the competition, was opened with remarks from Luis Hernandez, President of the Football Association of Cuba and FIFA Council Member. CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio, with the assistance of former United States international and MLS star Eddie Johnson and CONCACAF/Honduras legend Carlos Pavon Plummer, conducted the draw, using a double-blind system involving four pots. Clubs were split into the pots based on the new CONCACAF Club Index, which ranks clubs based on the on-field performance of the various clubs of the same Member Association that have occupied those respective qualifying slots in the previous five editions of the competition.¬†
The Round of 16 pairings for the 2018 CONCACAF Champions are as follows:
Matchup #1: CD Guadalajara (MEX) v Cibao FC (DOM)
Matchup #2: Seattle Sounders FC (USA) v Santa Tecla FC (SLV)
Matchup #3: New York Red Bulls (USA) v CD Olimpia (HON)
Matchup #4: Club Tijuana (MEX) v FC Motagua (HON)
Matchup #5: Tigres UANL (MEX) v CS Herediano (CRC)
Matchup #6: Toronto FC (CAN) v Colorado Rapids (USA)
Matchup #7: FC Dallas (USA) v Tauro FC (PAN)
Matchup #8: Club America (MEX) v Deportivo Saprissa (CRC)
For the Round of 16, clubs that were drawn from Pot 1 will play away first, and host the return legs. The winners of matchups number 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the second leg of the quarterfinals and will face the winners of matchups 2, 4, 6 and 8, respectively.
For the semifinals, the initial bracket will determine the matchups. Additionally, clubs will be ranked per their performance in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, using the competition‚Äôs tie-breaking procedure. The highest-ranked club in each semifinal matchup will host the second leg matches. The same aggregate performance procedure will be applied to determine who will host the final, second leg. Detailed information can be found in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Regulations.
In total, the expanded CONCACAF club competitions platform ‚Äď including the 2017 ¬†CONCACAF League and the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League -- features 31 clubs from across the Confederation.