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MLS teams learn fate, Toronto FC braces for Santos Laguna rematch in CCL draw


The draw for the new-look 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League is out, and the MLS team that got the furthest in 2011-12 will be reacquainted with its semifinal partner in the group stage.

Five MLS teams are spread across the eight three-team groups, and Toronto FC had the misfortune of being drawn with Santos Laguna and Salvadoran side Aguila; Real Salt Lake is paired with Costa Rican side Herediano and Panamanian side Tauro FC; and the Houston Dynamo will play Honduran club Olimpia and Salvadoran club FAS, which is only in the tournament because Belize had its CCL berth rescinded for not having adequate stadiums for the tournament's requirements.

The Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy each know only one of their opponents, with the clubs still waiting on the remaining Carribean qualifiers to fill out their groups. As of now, the Sounders will face Honduran club Marathon, and the Galaxy will face Salvadoran club Isidro Metapan.

With the new format in place this year, there is no more preliminary round, and all 24 qualifying teams enter the group stage, where they will play each of the two other teams in their group home and away. Teams must win their groups to advance to the quarterfinals, where the pairings will be set by seeding based on group-stage records and not a draw, as had been the case in the past.

For more on the pots and draw process, read on here. The schedule for the tournament rounds can be seen here.

Here are the eight groups for the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League:


Group 1
Santos Laguna (MEX)
Toronto FC (CAN)
Aguila (SLV)

Group 2
Herediano (CRC)
Real Salt Lake (USA)
Tauro FC (PAN)

Group 3
Olimpia (HON)
Houston Dynamo (USA)

Group 4
Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Marathon (HON)
Caribbean Qualifier 1

Group 5
LA Galaxy (USA)
Metapan (SLV)
Caribbean Qualifier 3

Group 6
Tigres UANL (MEX)
Alajuelense (CRC)
Real Esteli (NIC)

Group 7
Chorillo (PAN)
Monterrey (MEX)
Municipal (GUA)

Group 8
Xelaju (GUA)
Chivas de Guadalajara (MEX)
Caribbean Qualifier 2


What do you think of the draw? Which MLS teams do you think have the best shot of advancing to the quarterfinals? Like that the knockout round will be based on seed and not draw?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It says in the draw rules that a US MLS team and a Mexican team CANNOT be drawn into the same group. With 4 US teams, and 4 Mexican teams that means every group will have on of each.

  2. I followed your logic to a dead end. No wonder sports writers don’t write anything but pre and post-game stories. Most readers don’t have a basic understanding of logic and statistics.
    Maybe, just maybe, the reason teams struggled in the Open Cup is that they don’t care about it and buying home court advantage is one way for the MLS to pay lip service to US soccer and make the Open Cup look legit.
    RSL had four of it’s best players away on international duty. Others didn’t start. Not taking anything away from the Stars. They kicked our trash that night, but RSL was not taking the tournament seriously. Why add 8 games to a crowded schedule when you are likely to qualify for Concacaf anyway. Seattle knows the cost of winning this tournament and playing the extra games. They are always too tired and too injured come playoffs to perform. It is a strategic move to not pay anything but lip service to this stupid tournament.

  3. +1

    That Monterrey squaq was 8th in league play and was on a 5 game win-less streak and they still beat RSL. This improved Monterrey squad can tear up any MLS side, not to mention what Santos Laguna can do…I doubt any MKS team can get past Santos, its not going to happen.

  4. Technically it is not rigged since the favoritism to US teams has been codified. So they are really just following rules now.

    Maybe next time they will have US teams with the tie breaker, if that fails then maybe all games with US teams will start off 1-0 in favor is US MLS.

  5. I’d be pissede if I was Canadian. It looks like CONCACAF took a big dump on Canadians in favor of having more TV viewership

  6. Was this the same tournament where the draw was rigged so that RSL could only meet a Mexican team in the final?

    I think the RSL vs Moneterrey final should have an asterisk next to RSL, all they accomlished was getting beat by a Mexican team, just like all other MLS teams, I wouldn’t be crowing too loud.

  7. Given no MLS team has won the CCL pointing to other MLS teams struggles hardly negates the point that RSL’s loss to Minnesota doesn’t build confidence in RSL.

  8. If you pick out balls on live TV like others do its pretty hard to rig its doable but unlikely that an incompetent group like CONCACAF would be able to pull it off.

  9. If there is any corruption there is corruption at all levels and you can’t stop it by having a formal ceremony with the media present.

  10. Good luck with that. Couldn’t even beat the powerhouse known as the Minnesota Stars after buying the home game.

  11. Its not a blind draw CONCACAF made it a rule American teams couldn’t face Mexican teams in the group phase. As with all CONCACAF “draws” it was done behind closed doors while everyone else does their’s publicly. CONCACAF has rarely had an honest draw they did it the first year of the CCL but then they stopped.

  12. If you really believe the system is rigged, you’re an idiot.

    It is unfair that TFC is in a group with Santos, but it’s a blind draw. Them’s the breaks, kid.

  13. don’t matter about group stage, we already know Mexico gonna win, lets just hope MLS teams don’t get dominated as bad as last time

  14. Well, at least there won’t be any more conspiracy theories about the knockout round draw:

    “Unlike previous years where a second draw was conducted to set the pairings for the Championship round, the quarterfinals will match the team with the best record against the qualifier with the worst record. The second-best team will face the seventh-best, third against sixth and fourth against fifth.”

  15. Group 1 will be tough, feel sorry for Toronto, as they got a really tough draw. For group 6 I predict Tigres will not make it through, Tuca Ferreti will field a weak side…

  16. true!! I see coming out of the group stages Santos, Real Salt Lake, Houston, Seattle, Galaxy, Tigres UNAL, Monterrey, Chivas..anything other than that, would be considered a huge upset.

  17. Last tournament it was MLS Cup champion, Supporters’ Shield winner, MLS Cup runner-up, and U.S. Open Cup champion. So I suppose it is the same

  18. Should be a strong showing form MLS clubs this year. Not holding my bretah on the Galaxy and Torornto, but RSL, Seattle, and Houston should all do well.

  19. I like the format better, it gets to be a bit much between MLS, LH USOC, and CCL. For Sounder’s fans at least !!! 😉

    Sigi and I want to know, was this draw transparent ?!?!?

  20. i think houston’s group is probably group of death. i dont see big crowds for any of the group stage games. it needs to be war with the mexicans. mls needs to take it seriously if it wants ccl to succeed. guys like sigi sending a reserve square are what gives mls a bad name internationally. sigi sucks, he really does

  21. Stupid BS draw system!

    Rigged for US and Mexicans teams to dominate the quarter-finals. Punishes any team from a country outside that. Mostly TFC, who had some of the highest attendances in the CCL last year.

  22. CCL format more closely matches UEFA Champions League in scheduling.

    This works in MLS favor in the group stage, but in Mexico’s favor in the knockout stages as they are well into the heat of their season while MLS is just starting theirs.

  23. Can someone remind me how the US teams are chosen? I know the MLS Cup winner and the USOC winner qualify, but who else? Supporters’ Shield winner? What the same team qualifies more than one way? And what if a Canadian team qualifies in one or more of those ways? Do they still have the special Canadian “tournament” to choose a participant?

    Sorry for all the questions.

  24. I thought they just played the Champions League with Monterrey winning? and the Galaxy losing out to Toronto who then lost to Santos in stunning fashion. I thought for the 2012-2013 we’d await the MLS champion of this year and the US open cup champion or is the Concacaf Champions league that far behind?

  25. I like this format. And it greatly benefits MLS teams that the won’t have to face any Mexican opposition until at least the quarter final round.

  26. Each American team should have a pretty good shot at winning their group. Not sure if I agree with only 4 group games instead of 6 but I’m sure management and players like it.


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