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Portland Timbers open Alpha phase
by Paul Kennedy, August 18th, 2014 6:26PM
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TAGS:  concacaf champions league, d.c. united, mls, portland timbers, sporting kansas city


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Play begins this week for three of the four U.S. clubs in this year's Concacaf Champions League.

For the Portland Timbers, making their regional debut, it will mean a trip of 7,200 miles from Boston, where they played New England on Saturday, to Georgetown, Guyana, for the match against Alpha United, the first Guyanese team to ever qualify for the CCL -- then back to Portland for their Cascadia showdown with Seattle on Sunday.

The Timbers arrived in Guyana, located on the northern coast of South America, on Sunday night via a charter flight after a refueling stop in Puerto Rico. Tuesday's match will take place at Georgetown's cricket ground, Providence Stadium.

WEEK 2, Schedule:
Tuesday, August 19
8 p.m. ET
Alpha United (GUY) vs. Portland Timbers
Club America (MEX) vs. Bayamon FC (PUR)
10 p.m. ET
Chorrillo (PAN) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Real Esteli (NCA) vs. Sporting KC
Wednesday, August 20
8 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. Waterhouse FC (JAM)
10 p.m. ET
FAS (SLV) vs. Montreal Impact

Thursday, August 21

10 p.m. ET
Real Espana (HON) vs. Municipal (GUA)
Herediano (CRC) vs. Isidro Metapan (SLV)

Alpha United, the five-time Guyanese defending champion, started five Guyanese, as well as two players from Jamaica and Panama and one each from Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago for Alpha United's opening game, a 1-0 loss at home to Olimpia of Honduras.

Coach Wayne Dover's squad features Gregory Richardson, who played for the Colorado Rapids and Grenada international Kithson Bain, who also played for the Railhawks.

Providence Stadium:

REAL ESTELI-SPORTING KC. Like Portland, Sporting KC arrived via charter for its match Tuesday in Esteli, 85 miles north of the Nicaraguan capital of Managua.

At least it is a familiar trip for  the MLS champion. Sporting KC opened its 2013 campaign with a 2-0 win in Esteli. Dom Dwyer and Ike Opara scored for Sporting KC, which was making its CCL debut.

The Nicaraguan champion opened at home against Costa Rica's Saprissa with a 1-1 tie. It is winless in nine games in the CCL group stage over the last three seasons.

Uruguayan Rodrigo Valiente had the lone goal against Saprissa. The Esteli team also includes a pair of Brazilian defenders, Alan Kardek and Eduardo Praes.

D.C. UNITED-WATERHOUSE. United, which qualified as 2013 U.S. Open Cup champion, opens with potentially the trickiest test of the week, hosting Jamaica's Waterhouse, which won in its CCL debut two weeks ago, stunning FC Tauro, 2-1, in Panama with goals by Romario Campbell in the second minute and Vincent Earle in the 19th minute.

Waterhouse, winner of the 2014 Red Stripe Premier League, qualified for the CCL as the winner of Group 2 at the 2014 CFU Club Championship, where it swept all three games by a margin of 10-1.

-- Montreal Impact, a 1-0 winner over FAS in its opener, travels to El Salvador for the rematch on Wednesday. The New York Red Bulls, the third team in their group, open play Aug. 26 against FAS at Red Bull Arena.

WEEK 1, Results:
Tuesday, August 5
Alpha United (GUY) 0 Olimpia (HON) 1
Cruz Azul (MEX) 1 Alajuelense (CRC) 1
Montreal Impact 1 FAS (SLV) 0
Isidro Metapan (SLV) 2 Leon (MEX) 4
Wednesday, August 6
Pachuca (MEX) 4 Real Espana (HON) 1      
Real Esteli (NCA) 1 Saprissa (CRC) 1
Thursday, August 7
Comunicaciones (GUA) 5 Bayamon FC (PUR) 0
Tauro FC (PAN) 1 Waterhouse (JAM) 2
WEEK 3, Schedule:
Tuesday, August 26
8 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. FAS (SLV)
10 p.m. ET
Comunicaciones (GUA) vs. Club America (MEX)
Saprissa (CRC) vs. Real Esteli (NCA)
Wednesday, August 27
8 p.m. ET
Leon (MEX) vs. Herediano (CRC)
10 p.m. ET
Municipal (GUA) vs. Pachuca (MEX)
Thursday, August 28
8 p.m. ET
Waterhouse (JAM) vs. Tauro FC (PAN)
10 p.m. ET
Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Chorrillo (PAN)
Olimpia (HON) vs. Alpha United (GUY)

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