MIAMI, Florida – Reigning Scotiabank Concacaf League champions Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica begin their title defense on Wednesday with a Round of 16 battle against Municipal of Guatemala at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The Ticos were enormously impressive in their SCL debut in 2019 by claiming the title and after winning the 2020 Clausura in Costa Rica, Saprissa are back in the tournament with the objective of a second consecutive crown.
Saprissa have a plethora of weapons to choose from, none more so than FW Johan Venegas. The 31-year-old pulled off the impressive double of winning both the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in the 2019 edition after scoring seven goals, making him the all-time scoring leader in SCL history.
With the help of other key pieces like MF Marvin Angulo and MF Mariano Torres, Venegas will look to add to his total against the Guatemalans.
For Municipal, the 2020 SCL represents their maiden voyage in the tournament after qualifying as the 2019 Apertura champion, but the club have a wealth of Concacaf experience from which to draw.
The Rojos appeared in six previous editions of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and a victory over Saprissa would push Municipal a step closer to a seventh SCCL qualification.
One player to watch for Municipal will be 21-year-old MF Rudy Barrientos, who scored three goals in four games at the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship, along with veteran MF Jaime Alas, a player that has featured in seven SCCL matches.
The encounter between the two sides will be the first ever SCL meeting of Costa Rican and Guatemalan clubs. It will also mark Saprissa’s first Concacaf match against a Guatemalan side and Municipal’s first Concacaf contest with a Costa Rican team since the inception of the SCCL era in 2008-09.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8:15 PM ET and can be seen via TSN.ca/TSN App (Canada), TUDN (USA-Spanish), FS1 (USA-English), ESPN 2 (Central America) and Fox Sports 2 (Mexico).