Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Kickoff: 7 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park
Forecast: Clear, 78 degrees
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
Broadcast: Galavision / CONCACAF Facebook
TICKETS: Timbers vs. Dragón
ABOUT CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Founded in 1962 as the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) tournament adopted its current format in 2008 and crowns the continental club champion among a field of 24 teams representing CONCACAF member associations. The 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League tournament marks the 52nd overall edition of the annual international club competition with the winner earning a berth in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.
Featuring 24 squads from each of CONCACAF’s three sub-regions - North America, Central America and the Caribbean - the CCL is played in two stages: the Group Stage and Championship Stage. Berths are allocated by country or, in the case of the Caribbean, through a separate qualifying competition.
No club is allowed to be drawn into a group with one from its own country with the possible exception of a wildcard, which would qualify only if a representative from another CONCACAF-affiliated national association could not participate. Additionally, teams from the United States and Mexico are not allowed to face each other in the Group Stage.
Only the group winners advance to the Championship Stage, which consists of a quarterfinal round, a semifinal round and a final round. In the quarterfinals, the group winner that completed the Group Stage with the best record will face the team with the eighth-best record from among the other group winners. In turn, two will play seven, three will play six, and four will face five. In the semifinals the winner of 1-vs-8 advances to meet the winner of 4-vs-5, while winners of 3-vs-6 and 2-vs-7 will square off against each other.
Overall, Cruz Azul is the most successful CONCACAF club champion with six triumphs since 1962, followed by five for Club América and four for Pachuca. No team from MLS has won the competition since the format changed in 2008.
The CONCACAF Champions League champion qualifies for the annual FIFA Club World Cup..
LAST MATCH RECAP
The Portland Timbers fell 1-0 against Sporting Kansas City before 19,098 fans at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday afternoon after conceding to the home side five minutes into the second half. The Timbers will face Sporting Kansas City in the second of back-to-back league meetings on Sunday, Aug. 7. The game against Sporting Kansas City snapped the Timbers’ road shutout streak at 248 minutes, which is the longest the club has gone without conceding a goal on the road since joining MLS in 2011. The Timbers opened the game with several chances in the first half, including midfielder Darlington Nagbe’s effort in the 10th minute of play that forced Sporting KC goalkeeper Alec Kann to make a strong save to push the shot wide. Sporting Kansas City took the lead when forward Jacob Peterson connected with midfielder Benny Feilhaber’s free kick into the 18-yard box, flicking a glancing header into the bottom right corner in the 50th minute of play.
SCOUTING C.D. DRAGON
El Salvadoran club C.D. Dragon qualified for the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League after winning the 2016 Clausura in the Salvadoran Primera División, marking their first CONCACAF Champions League appearance since being founded in 1939. Despite being founded in 1939 in San Miguel, El Salvador, Dragón are relative newcomers on the international scene. Until it won the 2016 Clausura, Dragón only won the Salvadoran Primera División two other times – in 1951 and 1953. Dragón plays its matches at intimate Estadio Juan Francisco Barraza, a stadium that it shares with local rival C.D. Águila. The stadium, which seats 10,000 fans, held its first match in November 1959. Since being relegated to Salvadoran second division for the first time after the 1963-1964 season, it has continually seesawed between the first and second divisions, most recently earning promotion back to the Primera División after winning the 2013 Clausura. The team’s current roster is almost entirely comprised of Salvadoran players.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Following their tournament-opening home match, the Timbers will travel for a pair of road matches to face Club Deportivo Saprissa at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and C.D. Dragon at Estadio Athletico Las Delicias in Santa Tecla, El Salvador, on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Portland concludes group play with a home match against Saprissa at Providence Park on Wednesday, Oct. 19.