Panama's Arabe Unido (pictured) will play in the first-ever Scotiabank CONCACAF League after making five appearances in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. (Photo courtesy of Federación Panameña de Fútbol)
MIAMI – The draw for the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) will take place Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET, at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel in Miami, Florida, and will be televised live on UDN, Fox Sports Latin America and other right partners throughout the Confederation.
With Arabe Unido gaining entry as a result of it falling 1-0 to Tauro FC in the 2017 Panamanian Clausura final on Saturday, the 16-club field is complete (teams listed by country): (Belize) Belmopan Bandits; (Costa Rica) LD Alajuelense , Santos de Guapiles; (El Salvador) Alianza FC (SLV), CD Aguila; (Honduras) CD Honduras Progreso, CD Olimpia, Platense FC; (Jamaica) Portmore United FC; (Nicaragua) CD Walter Ferretti, Real Esteli FC; (Panama) Arabe Unido, CD Plaza Amador, Chorrillo FC; (Trinidad & Tobago) Central FC, San Juan Jabloteh.
The draw will sort the qualified clubs into eight, Round of 16 pairings for play starting in the first week of August.
The draw will be executed with a double-blind system involving four pots -- two “Club Pots” and two “Bracket Position Pots”. The two “Club Pots” will contain the names of the sixteen participating clubs, while the other two “Bracket Position Pots” will contain the sixteen possible positions for the participating clubs.
The CONCACAF League qualified clubs will be distributed in pots as follows:
Pot 1: Belmopan Bandits (BLZ1), San Juan Jabloteh (CFU2), LD Alajuelense (CRC3), CD Honduras Progreso (HON2), Real Esteli FC (NCA1), Tauro FC or CD Arabe Unido (PAN2), CD Plaza Amador (PAN3), Alianza FC (SLV2)
Pot 2: Portmore United FC (CFU3), Central FC (CFU4), Santos de Guapiles FC (CRC4*), Platense FC (HON3), CD Olimpia (HON4*), CD Walter Ferretti (NCA2), Chorrillo FC (PAN4*), CD Aguila (SLV3)
* Entered as Wildcard clubs due to the disqualification of Guatemala’s participants, and may be drawn against any other club, including those from the same country.
The “Bracket Position Pots” (A and B) will contain the bracket positions:
Pot A: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8
Pot B: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8
The draw will begin by extracting a club from Pot 1, followed by a bracket position from Pot A. Once the position for all the clubs from Pot 1 has been drawn, using Pot A, clubs from Pot 2 will be drawn using the same procedure and Pot B. In accordance to the Competition Regulations, clubs from the same Member Associations cannot be drawn against each other in the Round of 16, except in the case of the three “wildcard” clubs (Olimpia, Santos de Guapiles, and Chorrillo).
For the Round of 16, clubs drawn from Pot 1 will play away first, and host the return matches. The winners of matchup numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the return leg of the Quarterfinals. For the semifinals, clubs will be ranked per their performance in the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals, using the competitions tie-breaking procedure. The highest ranked club in each semifinal matchup will host the 2nd leg matches. The same tie-breaking procedure will be applied to determine who will host the second leg final.
The CONCACAF League includes top club teams from the Central America and Caribbean regions. For the 2017 SCL, Panama and Honduras will each enjoy an additional berth to the tournament, filling the two spots allocated for Guatemala clubs (not be eligible to participate in the competition due to the on-going suspension of the Guatemalan Federation). The vacant position in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League allocated for the Guatemalan champion will now be occupied by a second Costa Rican club.
In total, the expanded CONCACAF club competitions platform – including the newly launched Scotiabank CONCACAF League and the re-designed Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League -- will feature 31 club teams from across the Confederation.