Preliminary Round/Group Stage draw set for Wednesday
Qualified teams will learn their Preliminary Round and Group Stage fates for the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League when the confederation conducts the tournament draw Wednesday at its New York headquarters.
Nineteen of the 24 qualifiers have been decided.
Eight teams are guaranteed berths in the competition’s Group Stage. Defending champion Monterrey, the Mexican Apertura champion, will be joined in the league phase by the Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles Galaxy of the United States, Alajuelense of Costa Rica, Comunicaciones of Guatemala, Real Espana of Honduras and Tauro of Panama. Either by Pumas or Morelia, the Mexican Clausura finalists, will claim the last Group Stage berth.
The first leg of the Preliminary Round will be July 26-28 with the second leg to be played the following week. The winners will advance to the six-round Group Stage, which will begin August 16-18.
PR Islanders to face Alpha in CFU club semis
The defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders will face host Alpha United in the CFU club championship semifinals, drawing on Monday the Guyanese Super Four winner for the knockout round and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Defence Force of Trinidad will face Tempete of Haiti in the other semifinal.
Puerto Rico, a three-time qualifier for the CONCACAF Champions League, earned its place in the CFU Club Champions Cup semis with a 7-0 victory over Walking Boyz of Suriname on Saturday.
Guyana was announced as the host of the semifinals May 25 and finals May 27 last week.
The semifinal winners as well as the third-place victor will complete the 24-team CONCACAF Champions League field.
Seven teams from Mexico, Central America qualify with weekend results
Pumas and Morelia reached the final of the Mexican Clausura Liguilla playoffs on Sunday, guaranteeing themselves berths in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League. Pumas defeated Chivas 2-0 at home to complete a 3-1 aggregate win, while Morelia overcame a two-goal first-leg deficit to win 3-0 at home. The finals will be played Thursday and Sunday, with the winner qualifying for the Group Stage, and the loser joining Santos in the Preliminary Round.
Liga Deportiva Alajuelense defeated San Carlos 1-0 Saturday in the final of the Torneo de Verano to sweep the Costa Rican first-division crowns. Alajuelense won the first leg 1-0. Its consecutive titles put Alajuelense in the Group Stage of the Champions League, while Herediano claimed the Preliminary Round berth, having finished with the best record over both seasons between it and fellow runner-up San Carlos.
Motagua will return to the Champions League for a third time, beating Olimpia 3-1 Sunday for a 5-3 aggegate win and the Honduran Clausura championship. The title earned it a place in the Preliminary Round, where it was eliminated by Pachuca in 2008 and Toronto FC last year. Apertura winner Real Espana will start in the Group Stage because of its better record over Motagua in the split seasons. Additionally, Olimpia also will get a berth, reallocated from Belize. Defense Force had won the Belizean spot in the Preliminary Round, but did not meet the minimum requirements on stadium facilities to be able to stage matches.
Alianza defeated FAS 2-1 in the single-game Clausura final Saturday, winning its first Salvadoran title six years. The victory earned Alianza its first Champions League appearance and sends it and Apertura champion Isidro Metapan into the Preliminary Round.
Comunicaciones won the Guatemalan Clausura crown on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Municipal and a 6-0 aggregate win. Comunicaciones, which reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 2010, will return to the Group Stage, while Apertura champion Municipal will begin play in the Preliminary Round.
San Francisco defeated Chorrillo 3-2 in extra time on Saturday to win the Panamanian Clausura and claim a berth in the Preliminary Round. Tauro, which won the Apertura and had a better record than San Francisco over the two season, will return to the Champions League for the third time and begin in the Group Stage.
Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps face off Wednesday in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship in Vancouver. The two will play the return leg at Toronto’s BMO Field on May 25. Toronto is seeking a third straight appearance in the Preliminary Round of the Champions League.
Vancouver to host women’s qualifying tournament
Vancouver will be the host city for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament January 19-29. The eight-team tournament will decide the confederation’s two spots to the 2012 Women’s Olympic tournament in London.
The matches will be played in the newly renovated BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
Caribbean qualifying to begin in June
Cuba will host Guyana and Aruba in Group C to begin the first round of Caribbean Olympic qualifying for men June 23-27.
Suriname will host Group A with Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the Cayman Islands August 3-7 while St. Kitts & Nevis will be the site for Group D with Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Lucia July 21-25.
Group B will be played in Dominica with Trinidad & Tobago and Curacao July 20-24.
The group winners will advance to a second group phase, from which two will qualify for the eight-team CONCACAF finals next year in the United States.
In the women’s competition, Aruba will host one of two first-round groups that also will include Cuba, Haiti and Suriname June 29-July 3, while the Dominican Republic will host the other group July 5-9 with Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Dominica. The group winners and best runner-up will qualify for January women’s finals in Canada.
Bogle, Garcia selected for the U-17 World Cup
Jamaica’s Raymond Bogle and Mexico’s Roberto Garcia have been selected as part of the referee pool that will officiate at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico in June 18-July 10.
The pair was chosen along with assistant referees Alejandro Ayala and Victor Calderon of Mexico, Stephen Brown of Jamaica and Dion Neil of Trinidad & Tobago.
Additionally, Elmer Bonilla of El Salvador, Paul Delgadillo of Mexico and Jafeth Perea Amador were designated as reserve referees along with linesmen Marcos Quintero and Salvador Rodriguez of Mexico, Keytzell Corrales of Nicaragua, Octavio Jara of Costa Rica, Ricardo Daniel Ake of Belize and Juan Antonio Rodas of Honduras.
National association matches
3.25.2011: Panama City:
PANAMA – BOLIVIA 2:0
3.24.2011: Havana, Cuba:
CUBA – EL SALVADOR 0:2
SOUTH KOREA- HONDURAS 4:0
3.25.2011: Montego Bay, Jamaica:
JAMAICA – VENEZUELA 0:2
3.26.2011: San Jose, Costa Rica:
COSTA RICA – CHINA 2:2
3.26.2011: Bassaterre, St. Kitts and Nevis:
ST. KITTS & NEVIS – GRENADA 0:0
3.26.2011: New York:
UNITED STATES – ARGENTINA 1:1
MEXICO – PARAGUAY 3:1
3.26.2011: Havana, Cuba:
CUBA – PANAMA 0:2
3.27.2011: San Salvador, El Salvador:
EL SALVADOR – JAMAICA 2:3
3.28.2011: Mazatenango, Guatemala:
GUATEMALA – BOLIVIA 1:1
3.29.2011: San Jose, Costa Rica:
COSTA RICA – ARGENTINA 0:0
UNITED STATES – PARAGUAY 0:1
3.29.2011: San Diego:
MEXICO – VENEZUELA 1:1
4.1.2011: St. Georges, Grenada:
GRENADA – ST. KITTS & NEVIS 0:0
CAYMAN ISLANDS – BELIZE
MEXICO – ECUADOR
EL SALVADOR – HONDURAS
5.30.2011: San Jose:
COSTA RICA – NIGERIA
MEXICO – NEW ZEALAND
UNITED STATES – SPAIN