CONCACAF Champions League: An overview of the Portland Timbers' first international club tournament
What is it?
The CONCACAF Champions League, CCL for short, is an annual continental competition comprised of 24 teams across North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It’s our region’s version of Europe’s well known and popular UEFA Champions League. The winner of the CCL qualifies, as one of seven teams worldwide, for the FIFA Club World Cup.
What’s the format?
The tournament consists of two stages, a group and knockout segment. The group stage is played from August to October, comprised of eight 3-team groups. The eight group winners advance to the Championship Stage (quarterfinals, semifinals and finals). Spanning March through May (of the following year), each round of this knockout phase is a two-leg home-and-home series with the winner determined by aggregate goals.
How did the Timbers qualify?
The Timbers, as the MLS club with best 2013 regular season record in the conference opposite the MLS Supporters’ Shield winner, secured one of four U.S. berths. The remaining three spots were awarded to: (1) the MLS Cup champion, (2) MLS Supporters’ Shield winner and (3) the U.S. Open Cup champion.
Who are the Timbers playing in the group stage?
The Timbers are paired with Alpha United FC from Guyana and CD Olimpia from Honduras in Group 5 of the 2014-15 CCL.
What is the Timbers group stage schedule?
|Tuesday, Aug.19 at 5 pm PT:||Timbers at Alpha United FC|
|Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7 pm PT:||CD Olimpia at Timbers|
|Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 pm PT:||Alpha United FC at Timbers|
|Tuesday, Oct 21 at 7 pm PT:||Timbers at CD Olimpia|
Alpha United FC
Based in Georgetown, Guyana, Alpha United FC qualified for the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League tournament as one of three group winners from the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship. Making their second appearance in CONCACAF Champions League, Alpha United FC qualified for the 2011-12 Preliminary Round before falling 10-2 on aggregate against Costa Rican side Herediano. Alpha United FC are five-time winners of the GFF National Super League, Guyana’s domestic league.
Club Deportivo Olimpia
Club Deportivo Olimpia, the 2014 Clausura champions of Honduras’ Liga Nacional, finished in first place in the regular-season standings with a record of 9-5-4 (32pts). In the playoffs, Olimpia earned a 2-0 win on aggregate over C.D. Victoria in the semifinals before capturing the championship in a dramatic, 4-2 penalty-kick shootout win over C.D. Marathón. Founded in 1912 in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, Olimpia has garnered a record 28 Liga Nacional championships. Known as the Leones, the club lifted the CONCACAF Champions Cup on two occasions, winning the tournament in 1972 and 1988. Led by forward Roger Rojas (17 goals combined in the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura seasons) and Anthony Lozano (16 goals), Olimpia has qualified for seven straight CONCACAF Champions League tournaments since the competition adopted its current format for the 2008-09 edition.
CCL History and Notes
28 different clubs have won the title, with 17 having won more than once. Mexican sides Cruz Azul and Club América are the most successful clubs in the competition's history, having each won five times.
No MLS team has won the CCL. In 2011, Real Salt Lake became the first MLS team to advance to the final, before losing to Monterrey (Mexico).