By IVES GALARCEP
The San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact will face off in group stage action in the 2013/2014 CONCACAF Champions League group stages.
The Champions League group draw took place on Monday night and didn’t quite go according to plan. The initial draw saw the Houston Dynamo drawn against Club Tijuana and the Los Angeles Galaxy drawn vs. Cruz Azul, but CONCACAF rules prevent MLS teams and Liga MX teams from meeting in the group stages.
CONCACAF eventually fixed the problem, and moved the Dynamo and Cruz Azul into new groups.
The winner of each three-team group advances to the knockout round, which takes place in 2014.
Here is the 2013/2014 CONCACAF Champions League group draw:
GROUP 1– Arabe Unido, Houston Dynamo, W Connection.
GROUP 2– CD Olimpia, Sporting KC, Real Esteli.
GROUP 3– Herediano, Cruz Azul, Valencia FC.
GROUP 4– Club America, Alajuelense, Sporting San Miguelito
GROUP 5– San Jose Earthquakes, Montreal Impact, Guatemala 2nd team.
GROUP 6– CSD Comunicaciones, Toluca, Caledonia FC.
GROUP 7– Club Tijuana, CD Victoria, San Luis Firpo
GROUP 8– LA Galaxy, Isidro Metapan, Club Sport Cartagines
What do you think of the match-ups? What match are you most looking forward to? Does anything CONCACAF does surprise you anymore?
Share your thoughts below.
Is it the Valancia fc from Haiti? If so, I loved that team as a kid for its resilience
Type in “MONT” to see who is in the group of death with the 3-peaters.
No Monterrey. Wow.
The holders don’t get a spot? Strange.
UEFA has had to make some exceptions for some English teams to make CL as holders when they don’t otherwise qualify, eg, Liverpool.
why the 3 team groups? why not 4 team groups? and why not just play from august to february/march. why take such a long hiatus from Fall to Spring?
Why the 3 team group? To cut down on travel costs (4 games rather than 6).
Why the long hiatus? The brutal Caribbean/Central American winter, obviously. 😉
LAG have a favorable draw. Otherwise. Every point counts. Depth matters and getting even 1-0 wins is a miracle. Should be fun to enjoy!
No Monterrey. 2014 will be the year for MLS (probably Montreal, though).
I also love CCL. This is what makes soccer so great as compared to other American sports leagues. MLS is actually connected to the world rather than claiming to be it.
No Monterrey doesn’t guarantee an MLS win. I’d say the other Liga MX clubs are just as competitive. Fans who jumped on CONCACAF Champions League only after RSL had it’s finals run may not know this.
That being said I say it’s a shame the defending champion is not invited back. Belize was suppose to have a slot but lost it for not having a suitable stadium. The spot was awarded to another Costa Rican club since a Costa Rican club did the best among central american clubs last CCL. But that spot should go to a defending champion.
both America and Cruz Azul mopped the floor with Monterrey and Santos respectively in the Liga MX playoffs
As someone who doesn’t live anywhere near an MLS team, I really like the CCL, since it allows me to watch games with a clear rooting interest. It seems like Houston, LA, and one San Jose or Montreal should make it out of their groups. KC probably should as well, but Olimpia, especially on the road, might be a tough out.
You are correct, Olimpia is tricky. Hou and LA should advance with B teams like last year. SKC should advance. SJ has it tough with Montreal in their group. One of the two will advance. There is little room for error. Team depth will be tested.
I’m happy to see SJ and impact. The impact are full of players with cup competition experience from Europe and they’re deeper and better so I can’t see Montreal not winning that group.
I think this current format is a joke. I understand that they don’t want teams to have to travel as much or play as many games, but it just seems the credibility of both this tournament and CONCACAF decreases on the world stage when things are handled in such a way. I prefer the original group phase format.
Aside from all of that, I think this may be the year an MLS club actually takes the cup, but that will be more evident in next year’s knockout phase…
As long as the MLS season kicks off literally the same week as the CCL knock-out stage, MLS teams will continue to struggle against Mexican opposition. We’re already at a steep disadvantage against against Monterrey et al. due to MLS’ salary constraints. Add to that Mexican teams are already two months into the clausura and it looks bleak.
I agree. I’m not really looking forward toward this group stage at all. The majority of the Mexican clubs if not all will progress and the only intriguing group is the one consisting of Montreal and San Jose. This tournament needs to revert back to the four team group format so we can be talking about a group of death. The Caribbean clubs are just too small and weak and need to be weeded out like they were in a knock out stage before this format.
I disagree. This format doesn’t offer any room for error. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the first Mexican side knocked out in the group stages came under this format. As long as our confederation is this lopsided, this format may offer more surprises than we’ve ever seen. Our confederation is different than that of other continents, so it makes sense that it be handled differently.
Go Guatemala 2nd team!!!! I really want this tournament to gain momentum, but it seems like the schedule is really bizarre. Wasn’t the final just a month ago?
Yes, the final was only a short time ago but that’s because it takes a long break through the group stage and knockout stage. Something like October to March.
That in and of itself is just ridiculous. The rosters for MLS clubs are almost never the same as what got them to the knockout phase…
You must be new to soccer. Thats the way it is. The UEFA Champions league starts up next month. The final was two weeks ago.