MIAMI, FLORIDA (December 18, 2017) – The first round of the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage is set. The draw occurred this evening in Miami, Florida.
The 2018 CCL Bracket Is Set: Club America and Saprissa Highlight First Round
The first round matches are as follows:
(1) Chivas Guadalajara (MEX) vs. Cibao FC (DR)
(2) Seattle Sounders FC (USA) vs. Santa Tecla (SLV)
(3) New York Red Bulls (USA) vs. CD Olimpia (HON)
(4) Club Tijuana (MEX) vs. FC Motagua
(5) Tigres UNAL (MEX) vs. CS Herediano (CRC)
(6) Toronto FC (CAN) vs. Colorado Rapids (USA)
(7) FC Dallas (USA) vs. Tauro FC
(8) Club America (MEX) vs. Deportivo Saprissa (CRC)
The higher seeded team (the one listed first in the match up) will host the second leg of the first round. The winner of match ups 1, 3, 5, and 7 (as denoted left of the match up) will host the second leg of the second round over the winners of match ups 2, 4, 6, and 8, respectively.
The semi-final hosting order will be determined by a ranking of the performances of each team in the first two rounds of competition per the tournament regulations. The same ranking system will be used to determine hosting order for the final, using the first three rounds to determine the ranking.
The first round will kick off between February 20-27, 2018.
This is set up to be a really exciting tournament. There is a potential for the second round to be all MLS teams vs. Liga MX teams will would be exciting to watch. Club America and Saprissa is probably the most exciting match up, given America’s history in this tournament and Saprissa’s ability to punch above its weight.
On the MLS side, Seattle, New York, and Dallas all have very beatable opponents in the first round. They should all be expected to advance to the second round. Depending on how worn out Toronto are from the MLS Cup Playoffs and what the Rapids do under new Head Coach Anthony Hudson, that could be an entreating two leg affair (potentially a 3-5-2 vs. 3-5-2).
Ultimately, MLS fans will remember this year’s tournament by how far an MLS team gets and if they can get to and win a final. Toronto and Seattle are certainly in the best position to do so, given their rosters and opponents.