Photo: Arnett Gardens FC who finished Runners-Up in the recently concluded Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship, along with Portmore United FC will represent Jamaica at the second staging of the Concacaf League competition.
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) conducted the official draw for the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League, at the Pullman Hotel in Miami, Florida on Wednesday.
The 2018 edition of the Concacaf League will be the second to feature the recently developed, action-packed knockout style competition. The home-and-away format will demand the highest level of performance from the participating clubs from the first kickoff, resulting in a quickly evolving competition with Round of 16 and quarterfinals matches in July and August, followed by the semifinals in September and the finals in October and November.
Wednesday’s event, which sorted the sixteen qualified clubs into eight parings for the first round of the competition, was opened with remarks from Rodolfo Villalobos, Concacaf Council Vice President and President of the Football Federation of Costa Rica. Concacaf Chief of Football Manolo Zubiria, with the assistance of former Central American and Caribbean football stars Amado Guevara and Emmerson Boyce, conducted the draw, using a double-blind system involving four pots.
Clubs were split into the pots based on the new Concacaf Club Index, which ranks clubs based on the on-field performance of the various clubs of the same Member Association that have occupied those respective qualifying slots in the previous five editions.
The Round of 16 pairings for the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League are as follows:
Matchup #1: Portmore United FC (JAM) vs AD Santos de Guapiles (CRC)
Matchup #2: Belmopan Bandits FC (BLZ) vs FC Motagua (HON)
Matchup #3: Nicaragua 1 vs Club Franciscain (MTQ)
Matchup #4: Real España (HON) vs Tauro FC (PAN)
Matchup #5: Arnett Gardens FC (JAM) vs Deportivo Arabe Unido (PAN)
Matchup #6: AD Municipal Perez Zeledon (CRC) vs CD FAS (SLV)
Matchup #7: Union Deportivo Universitario (PAN) vs Nicaragua 2
Matchup #8: Santa Tecla FC (SLV) vs CS Herediano (CRC)
For the Round of 16, clubs that were drawn from Pot 1 will play away first, and host the return legs. The winners of matchups number 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the second leg of the quarterfinals and will face the winners of matchups 2, 4, 6 and 8, respectively.
For the semifinals, the initial bracket will determine the matchups. Additionally, clubs will be ranked per their performance in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, using the competition’s tie-breaking procedure. The highest-ranked club in each semifinal matchup will host the second leg matches. The same aggregate performance procedure will be applied to determine who will host the final, second leg. Detailed information can be found in the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League Regulations.
In total, the expanded Concacaf club competitions platform – including the 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League and the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League – will feature 31 clubs from across the Confederation.
CD Olimpia (HON) earned the inaugural 2017 Scotiabank Concacaf League title, overcoming Santos de Guapiles in the two-legged final, 4-1 on penalty kicks.