[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE]Three weeks after Monterrey beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League finals to win the 2011 regional championship, the run-up to the next edition of the competition begins.
Concacaf will conduct its 2011-12 Champions League draw on Wednesday, with 19 of the 24 spots determined.
By reaching the Mexican league finals last weekend, UNAM and Morelia have joined the field for the competition, which begins with a preliminary round that produces eight qualifiers to join eight seeded teams in the group phase.
The Clausura champion will enter the group stage, along with Monterrey, which won the last Apertura title as well as the 2010-11 CCL title over RSL, 3-2, on aggregate. The Clausura runner-up will be placed in the preliminary round along with Santos.
MLS will be represented by Supporters’ Shield winner Los Angeles and MLS Cup champion Colorado, which are seeded into the group phase, and U.S. Open Cup winner Seattle and MLS Cup finalist FC Dallas in the preliminary round.
Qualifying by winning domestic titles were Alianza (El Salvador), Motagua (Honduras), Comunicaciones (Guatemala), San Francisco (Panama), and Alajuelense (Costa Rica).
Yet to be determined are the Canadian champion, three berths for Caribbean teams, and Nicaragua’s representative.
Vancouver hosts Toronto FC Wednesday in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship two-leg final. The NASL Puerto Rico Islanders have advanced to the semifinals of the CFU Club Championship.
Here is the breakdown of teams into the group phase and preliminary round. Schedules have yet to be determined, preliminary round games could start next month.
Group phase (8):Colorado and FC Dallas (USA), Monterrey and Mexican Torneo Clausura finals winner (Mexico), Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Real Espana (Honduras), Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Tauro FC (Panama).
Preliminary round (16): Los Angeles and Seattle (U.S.), Santos and Mexican Torneo Clausura runner-up (Mexico), Defense Force (Belize), Herediano (Costa Rica), Alianza and Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), Municipal (Guatemala), Motagua (Honduras), San Francisco (Panama), Nutrilite Canadian Championship winner, Caribbean Football Union Club Champions Cup (top three teams), Nicaragua representative.