Lost in all the transfer talk and U.S. Open Cup coverage Tuesday was the announcement of the UEFA Champions League draw. SBI correspondent Carl Setterlund has it covered for us.
While nearly all the European powers have already sealed their place in the group stages of this year’s UEFA Champions League – I say nearly in remembrance of all the AC Milan fans out there – a few substantial clubs find themselves mentioned in the second round qualifying draw, released yesterday.
Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, second-place finishers in the Super Lig behind Galatasaray, face perhaps the toughest battle as they’re pitted against Hungarian champion MTK Budapest. Remember, the Istanbul club made it to the quarterfinals last season where they were knocked out by Chelsea, 3-2, on aggregate.
DaMarcus Beasley will also be in action as Rangers take on the winner of FC Santa Coloma (Andorra) vs. FBK Kaunas (Lithuania), while third-place Greek team Panathinaikos will face FC Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia) or NSÃ Runavík (Faroe Islands).
Serbian champion Partizan Belgrade will oppose the winner of FK Inter Baki (Azerbaijan) vs. FK Rabotnicki (Macedonia), and Ukrainian power Dynamo Kiev will take on either Drogheda United FC (Ireland) or FC Levadia Tallinn (Estonia).
In other Champions League news, Romanian club Steaua Bucharest will remain in the UCL, despite being found guilty on charges of corruption. Docked seven points in league play,that did not impact their second-place finish. UEFA ruled that Steaua should still be allowed to compete while an investigation into bribing continues.
Tired of the news of corruption in soccer? Think Fenerbahçe will have a tough time repeating last year’s performance? Will Rangers make it back to the group stages? Share your thoughts below…