MIAMI -- CONCACAF conducted Wednesday night the draw for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League -- the inaugural edition of the competition -- at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel.
The Scotiabank CONCACAF League features 16 top club teams from Central America and the Caribbean. It will be played in a direct-elimination, knockout-round format, with home-and-away rounds set to begin in early August.
Wednesday’s draw, which sorted the qualified sides into eight parings for the first round of the competition, was opened with remarks from Pedro Chaluja, a CONCACAF Council Member and Panamanian Football Federation President. The draw was conducted by CONCACAF General Secretary Phillipe Moggio with the assistance of retired CONCACAF stars Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Omar Daley (Jamaica).
The Round of 16 pairing for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League are as follows:
Matchup #1: San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) v Santos de Guapiles FC (CRC)
Matchup #2: CD Honduras Progreso (HON) v Chorrillo FC (PAN)
Matchup #3: CD Arabe Unido (PAN) v Central FC (TRI)
Matchup #4: Real Esteli FC (NCA) v CD Aguila (SLV)
Matchup #5: LD Alajuelense (CRC) v CD Olimpia (HON)
Matchup #6: Alianza FC (SLV) v Platense FC (HON)
Matchup #7: CD Plaza Amador (PAN) v Portmore United FC (JAM)
Matchup #8: Belmopan Bandits (BLZ) v CD Walter Ferretti (NCA)
For the Round of 16, the clubs that were drawn from Pot 1 (listed first) will play away first, and then will host the return matches.
The winners of the matchups numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the return leg of the quarterfinals. For the semifinals, clubs will be ranked per their performance (points earned, goal differential and goals scored) 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 Scotiabank CONCACAF League includes top club teams from the Central America and Caribbean regions. For the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, Panama and Honduras each enjoy an additional berth to the tournament, filling the two spots allocated for Guatemala clubs (not eligible to participate in the competition due to the on-going suspension of the Guatemalan Federation).
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.
The 2018 edition of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League kicks off in February of next year, featuring the winner of the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League and 15 more of the best clubs from the entire CONCACAF region, including the Caribbean, Central America, plus Mexico, the United States and Canada. The champion of that competition will represent the region in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup.