Monday, July 27, 2009

The 2009 CONCACAF Champions League Field

The 2009/2010 CONCACAF Champions League kicks off tomorrow, and I'm very excited to see its return. Half of the 24 team field are repeats from last year's tournament:
  • DC United and Houston Dynamo (USA)
  • Cruz Azul and Pumas (Mexico)
  • Saprissa (Costa Rica)
  • Isidro Metapan and Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador)
  • Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico... duh!)
  • Olimpia and CD Marathon (Honduras)
  • CD Jalapa (Guatemala)
  • San Francisco (Panama)
Since the qualifying is based on country rather than league, there are actually five MLS teams in this year's field. The American contingent is rounded out by the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls, while the fifth team is Canada's entry - Toronto FC.

There was some... strangeness regarding qualification this year. Belize lost its spot in the competition due to a lack of stadiums that met the tournament's requirements. The same thing happened to Nicaragua when it was determined that Real Esteli's stadium did not pass inspection. Things got even stranger when El Salvador's Chalatenango never filed their paperwork to accept their place in the competition.

The rest of the field is as follows:
  • Pachuca and Toluca (Mexico)
  • Liberia and Herediano (Costa Rica)
  • Real Espana (Honduras)
  • Communicaciones (Guatemala)
  • Arabe Unido (Panama)
  • W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad and Tobago)

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