Nutrilite Canadian Championship winners to face Nicaraguan opposition in the CONCACAF Champions League
The winners of the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship will face either Real Esteli FC or Deportivo Walter Ferreti from Nicaragua in the Preliminary Round of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League following Wednesday's draw in New York City.
As the top club competition in North, Central America, and the Caribbean, CONCACAF set out the draw for this summer's Preliminary Round and the Group Stage of the 2011-12 Champions League, with the winner to represent the confederation at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. The first leg of the Preliminary Round will be held during the week of July 26 to 28, with the second leg to be played the following week (August 2 to 4). The winners of the eight Preliminary Round series will advance to the six-match Group Stage, while takes place from mid-August to late October.
Should Vancouver Whitecaps FC win the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian champions, they will face the winner of Nicaragua's Primera Division 'Clausura' final between Deportivo Walter Ferreti and Real Esteli. Walter Ferreti lead the two-leg final 1-0 on aggregate following last Sunday's first-leg result. The decisive second leg takes place on Saturday.
The winner of this two-match Preliminary Round series will advance to Group C, where they will face Mexico's Clausura champions in either Monarcas Morelia or Pumas UNAM, Tauro FC of Panama, and the winner of the Preliminary Round series between El Salvador's Alianza FC and Major League Soccer club FC Dallas. Each club will play their Group Stage opponents home and away, with the top two clubs from each of the four groups advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals in March 2012.
Starting with this Wednesday evening's first leg on Bell Pitch at Empire Field, Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC will contest the Voyageurs Cup in a two-leg Nutrilite Canadian Championship final series following semifinal wins over Montreal Impact and FC Edmonton respectively. The decisive second leg takes place next Wednesday, May 25, at Toronto's BMO Field.
Four American-based MLS clubs were also drawn into the competition on Wednesday. Last season's MLS Cup runners-up FC Dallas face El Salvador's Alianza FC in the Preliminary Round, while Lamar Hunt US Open Cup holders Seattle Sounders FC take on Panama's San Francisco FC in another Preliminary Round series. Drawn straight into the Group Stage were 2010 MLS Cup winners Colorado Rapids (Group B) and MLS Supporters' Shield winners Los Angeles Galaxy (Group A).
2011-12 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
(Host of first leg listed first)
Isidro Metapán (El Salvador) vs. Caribbean qualifier one
Motagua (Honduras) vs. CSD Municipal (Guatemala)
Alianza FC (El Salvador) vs. FC Dallas (USA)
Santos Laguna (Mexico) vs. CD Olimpia (Honduras)
Toronto/Vancouver (Canada) vs. Real Estelí/Walter Ferreti (Nicaragua)
San Francisco FC (Panama) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Monarcas Morelia/Pumas UNAM (Mexico) vs. Caribbean qualifier two
CS Herediano (Costa Rica) vs. Caribbean qualifier three
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
LD Alajuelense (Costa Rica)
Monarcas Morelia or Pumas UNAM (Mexico)/Caribbean qualifier two
Motagua (Honduras) or CSD Municipal (Guatemala)
Colorado Rapids (USA)
Real España (Honduras)
Santos Laguna (Mexico) or CD Olimpia (Honduras)
Isidro Metapán (El Salvador) or Caribbean qualifier one
Monarcas Morelia or Pumas UNAM (Mexico)
Tauro FC (Panama)
Alianza FC (El Salvador) or FC Dallas (USA)
Toronto or Vancouver (Canada)/Real Estelí or Walter Ferreti (Nicaragua)
CF Monterrey (Mexico)
CD Comunicaciones (Guatemala)
Seattle Sounders FC (USA) or San Francisco FC (Panama)
CS Herediano (Costa Rica) or Caribbean qualifier three