MIAMI – The Red Bulls will learn their first-round opponents in the re-formatted Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League in a draw that will be held Monday, Dec. 18.
The competition will feature 16 representatives from eight CONCACAF member associations.
The official draw will be held at Univision Studios in Miami and will be televised on Univision Deportes Network, Fox Sports Latin America and other rights partner networks throughout the confederation. It will feature coaches from participating clubs, as well as celebrity guests from international football.
The Round of 16 games will be held Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 27-March 1.
The sixteen clubs qualified for next year’s Champions League are (in alphabetical order by country):
Toronto FC (CAN), CS Herediano (CRC), Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), Cibao FC (DOM), Santa Tecla FC (SLV), CD Olimpia (HON), FC Motagua (HON), CD Guadalajara (MEX), Club America (MEX), Club Tijuana (MEX), Tigres UANL (MEX), Tauro FC (PAN), Colorado Rapids (USA), FC Dallas (USA), Red Bulls (USA) and Seattle Sounders FC (USA).
The draw will sort the 16 clubs into eight parings for the first round of the SCCL, which will begin in February.
The Round of 16 matches in home-and-away format demand the highest level of performance from the participating clubs from the start, and result in a quickly developing championship which continues with quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds in the months of March and April.
The draw, to be executed by CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio, with the assistance of a range of former SCCL stars from across the confederation, will use a double-blind system involving four pots — two “club pots” and two “bracket position pots.” The two “club pots” will each contain eight of the participating clubs, while the other two “bracket position pots” will contain the sixteen possible positions for the participating clubs.
Based on the new CONCACAF Club Index, which ranks clubs based on the performance of the countries over the last five editions of the Champions League, the clubs will be distributed as follows (in alphabetical order by country):
Pot 1: Toronto FC (CAN), CD Guadalajara (MEX), Club America (MEX), Tigres UANL (MEX), Club Tijuana (MEX), FC Dallas (USA), New York Red Bulls (USA) and Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Pot 2: Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), CS Herediano (CRC*), Cibao FC (DOM), FC Motagua (HON), Club Deportivo Olimpia (HON), Tauro FC (PAN), Santa Tecla FC (SLV) and Colorado Rapids (USA)
* Wildcard club which entered the competition following the disqualification of Guatemala’s participant.
The “Bracket Position Pots” (A and B) will contain the bracket positions:
Pot A: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8
Pot B: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8
The draw will begin when the first club is selected from Pot 1, followed by a bracket position from Pot A. Once the position for all the clubs from Pot 1 has been drawn, using Pot A, clubs from Pot 2 will be drawn using the same procedure and Pot B. Each first round pairing will feature one team from each pot. Additionally, clubs from the same Member Association cannot face each other in the first round.
For the Round of 16, clubs drawn from Pot 1 will play away first, and host the return matches. The winners of matchups number 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the return leg of the quarterfinals and will face the winners of matchups 2, 4, 6 and 8 respectively.
For the semifinals, the initial bracket will determine the matchups.
Clubs also will be ranked per their performance in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, using the competition’s tie-breaking procedure. The highest ranked club in each semifinal matchup will host the 2nd leg matches. The same aggregate performance procedure will be applied to determine who will host the second leg final.
Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match date windows
Round of 16: Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 27-March 1
Quarterfinals: March 6-8 and March 13-15
Semifinals: April 3-5 and April 10-12
Finals: April 17-19 and April 24-26