MIAMI, Florida – When a Concacaf club tournament draw is complete, it is always interesting to see how certain teams have fared in previous instances against their drawn opponent, or against clubs from the same country of their drawn opponent.
Those details can sometimes offer a hint of what is to come in the tournament.
But as of right now, following the results of Thursday night’s draw, the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League will largely serve as an unknown for many of its participants.
Beginning with the known pairing of the Preliminary Round, AS Capoise-SV Robinhood, Saprissa-Belmopan Bandits, Marathon-Comunicaciones, Santa Tecla-Real Esteli and Alianza-San Francisco, there is little history that these eight teams can rely on.
Out of these, Robinhood is one of the few that can say they have any recent familiarity with its opponent. The Suriname club defeated Real Hope of Haiti in a penalty shootout in the 2019 SCL Playoff, following its conquest of the 2019 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield.
The knowledge of those 120 minutes against Real Hope should serve Robinhood well when they play against Capoise, the other team from Haiti that featured in the 2019 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship and that defeated Real Hope 3-2 to reach the 2019 SCL.
Otherwise, in either past Concacaf cub tournament match-ups, Saprissa has never faced a team from Belize and Belmopan Bandits have never faced a Costa Rican side. Santa Tecla has never faced a Nicaraguan club and Real Esteli has never been drawn with a Salvadoran club, plus Alianza has never been paired against Panamanian opposition, while San Francisco has never faced a team from El Salvador.
Meanwhile, one has to go back to 1980 to find the last time Marathon of Honduras squared off against a Guatemalan opponent, which just happened to be 2019 SCL opponent Comunicaciones. For the Chapines, that two-legged series with Marathon was its lone meeting against a Catracho club.
The same can almost be said for the known pairings in the Round of 16: Motagua and Managua and Herediano-Waterhouse. Motagua has played just one Nicaraguan opponent in Concacaf play, in the 2015-16 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League group stage versus Walter Ferretti, while the 2019 SCL marks Managua’s debut in Concacaf competition. As for Herediano, despite nine SCCL appearances and 1 SCL participation, this will mark its first match against a Jamaican outfit, while Waterhouse has never faced a team from Costa Rica.
It should all make for a very interesting and exciting start to the tournament.