VANCOUVER, BC - This Wednesday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC make their return to Concacaf Champions League action.
The club is set to face Honduran side Real CD España in the first leg of the Round of 16 this Wednesday, March 8 at BC Place, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. PT.
Next week, the second leg will take place at the Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Wednesday, March 15, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. PT.
Ahead of Wednesday's match, we check in on how España have faired recently and some key storylines to watch.
España sit in fifth place in the Liga Nacional with 15 points through 11 matches.
- Jhow Benavídez
- Ramiro Rocca
- Pedro Báez
- Claudio Innella
- Juan Ignacio Vieyra
- Darixon Vuelto
- Miguel Carrasco
- José Reyes
- Mayron Ariel Flores Zavala
- Daniel Carter
CD Victoria 1-3 Real CD España
España took an early lead thanks to Darixon Vuelto's second goal of the season and later doubled their lead through Ramiro Rocca. Victoria found some life in the 87th minute, but the game was put to bed in stoppage time as Daniel Carter secured all three points for España.
Real CD España 0-3 CD Motagua
Having only claimed victory once in four matches at home this season, España were eager to get a result in a close matchup against Champions League regulars Motagua. However, the trend continued, as Motagua scored two goals in the opening 22 minutes of the match and added a third late on.
Heading into Wednesday's clash, España have only won once in their last six matches, conceding nine goals in the process.
CONTINENTAL TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
There are several players on the 'Caps roster with past experience in continental tournaments, including the Concacaf Champions League, the UEFA Champions League, and much more.
In terms of Concacaf Champions League experience, captain Russell Teibert is the lone member of the squad who has previously played in the tournament with the 'Caps, starting six of his seven appearances during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 editions.
Meanwhile, defender Tristan Blackmon came close to winning the tournament as a member of Los Angeles FC but narrowly lost out to Tigres UANL in 2020.
Midfielder Julian Gressel also played in the tournament that same year with Atlanta United FC, scoring a pair of goals as the club reached the quarterfinals.
In 2019, forward Brian White played a Champions League match with the New York Red Bulls, coming in as a substitute against Dominican side Atletico Pantoja.
There's also a number of 'Caps with experience in other continental tournaments, including Cristian Dájome, who won the Copa Sudamericana in 2018/19 with Independiente Del Valle and the Copa Libertadores with Atlético Nacional in 2015/16.
In addition, Déiber Caicedo (Copa Sudamericana), Sergio Córdova (Copa Sudamericana), Andrés Cubas (Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana), Mathías Laborda (Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana), Luís Martins (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League), Alessandro Schöpf (UEFA Champions League), Yohei Takaoka (AFC Champions League), and Pedro Vite (Copa Libertadores) all have experience playing in continental tournaments across the world.
CONNECTIONS WITH REAL CD ESPAÑA
'Caps defender Tristan Blackmon played with España goalkeeper Luis López at Los Angeles FC during the 2018 season. They started one match together on August 11, 2018 against Sporting Kansas City.
Former MLS players
Real CD España goalkeeper Luis López with Los Angeles FC (2018)
Real CD España defender Devron Garcia with Orlando City SC (2016-17)
Real CD España forward Pedro Báez with Real Salt Lake (2016)
Argentina: Andrés Cubas (born in Argentina), Ramiro Rocca, Juan Vieyra
Paraguay: Andrés Cubas, Pedro Báez
Uruguay: Mathías Laborda, Claudio Innella
CCL WINS AT BC PLACE
VWFC 1-0 CD Olimpia
The first 'Caps win at BC Place in CCL play came courtesy of a goal from Homegrown Kianz Froese during the 2015/16 tournament to claim a 1-0 victory over Honduran side CD Olimpia.
VWFC 3-0 Sporting Kansas City
Cristian Techera grabbed a brace and Erik Hurtado scored a delightful chip from outside the box to give the 'Caps a crucial three points in the 2016/17 group stage.
VWFC 4-1 Central FC
To culminate the 2016/17 group stage, the Blue and White dismantled Trinidad and Tobago side Central FC at BC Place. The late Masato Kudo got on the scoresheet, along with Blas Pérez and another brace from Cristian Techera.
VWFC 2-0 New York Red Bulls
The 'Caps secured their place in the semifinals of the 2016/17 edition of the Champions League with a 2-0 second leg victory over New York Red Bulls, with Alphonso Davies scoring his first goal at BC Place and Fredy Montero bagging his first 'Caps goal.