SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Olimpia enters the first leg of its 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) final against visiting Santos de Guapiles on Thursday with a single objective in mind: a return to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
A 10th straight trip to the confederation’s premier club event can only be achieved, though, by earning the title after the inaugural SCL’s completion on October 26 in Costa Rica.
“Of course, there is a cup and apart from that a return to international football in the Champions League,” said Olimpia head coach Carlos Restrepo in his pre-match press conference Wednesday. “With the club’s directors, we have been clear that the main priority is this. Hopefully, we can win this CONCACAF cup and put the club in international standing once again.”
The possibility of Olimpia winning a third CONCACAF trophy – and first since 1988 -- is not lost on Restrepo, who is embracing the opportunity to make history in his second spell with the Honduran club.
“It would be very positive. It’s returning to a country that gave me confidence to come back and starting with a title is good,” the 56-year-old Colombian expressed. “It would be nice for everyone, not just Carlos Restrepo, but everyone who has to do with Olimpia.”
The last time Olimpia competed in a CONCACAF final was in 2000, when it fell 3-2 to the LA Galaxy in the single-game CONCACAF Champions Cup decider.