RSL Learns Champions League Draw

RSL joined in Group A by Panama's Arabe Union

REAL SALT LAKE
PLACED IN GROUP A FOR 2010-11
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Defending MLS Cup Champs Draw Panamanian Titlist Arabe
Unido in Group;

Other Two Group A Spots to Be Determined in
Preliminary Round in July/August

 

SANDY,
Utah
(Wednesday,
May 19, 2010) – Real Salt Lake’s path in the 2010-11 edition of the
CONCACAF Champions League
became clearer today after soccer’s governing
body for North America, Central America and the Caribbean announced the draw
for the upcoming edition of the regional club championship. The draw was
conducted on Wednesday by deputy general secretaries Ted Howard and Italo Zanzi
at the confederation’s New York headquarters, setting the Preliminary Round
pairings and matchups for the Group Stage.

As
Major League Soccer’s champion last season, Real Salt Lake earned a bye into
the Group Stage portion of the tournament and was drawn into Group A alongside
another automatic qualifier, Panamanian titlist and 2009-10 tournament
quarterfinal participant Arabe Union. Those two squads will welcome into
Group A another pair of qualifiers, which will be determined when the
Preliminary Round is contested over two legs on July 27-29 and August 3-5. The
winner of the Canadian Nutrilite Championship – which will be either MLS’ Toronto
FC
or future League side Vancouver Whitecaps – will take on the
Honduran champion Motagua for the right to enter Group A, with the other
spot to be determined between this year’s tournament runner-up, Cruz Azul
of Mexico, and another outfit from Panama, San Francisco.

“We
are pleased to see the puzzle of our CONCACAF opposition begin to come
together. When Real Salt Lake was founded in 2004, part of the franchise’s
promise was to further integrate Utah into the global community and make it a
gateway to the world.  With upcoming games now confirmed with teams from
Panama, Canada, Honduras or Mexico that pledge is now a reality,” said RSL
General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “The CONCACAF Champions League is a
major step in raising the profile of RSL on a regional level.  We hope our
fans are as excited as we are about these upcoming tests against the best teams
on the North American continent.”

Three
other squads from North America’s top-flight will take part in the 2010-11
CONCACAF Champions League, beginning with the Los Angeles Galaxy taking on last
year’s tournament upstart, the USSF Division II’s Puerto Rico Islanders – the
current home of RSL defender David Horst, who was sent on loan to the Islanders
in April. Defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner Seattle Sounders FC will
also enter in the Preliminary Round against a yet-to-be-determined opponent
from Central America, while last year’s Supporters Shield holder Columbus Crew
will forgo the opening round and enter as part of the Group B pool, which
currently includes Guatemalan powerhouse Municipal.

The
2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League will begin in late July with the first leg of
the Preliminary Round, which wraps up with the second leg a week later. Those
winners will advance to the Group Stage, with the first of its six matchdays to
be contested from August 17-19. Match details for the Group Stage will be
determined and announced in the upcoming weeks.

Two
berths originally were allocated to El Salvador, but FIFA has suspended the
country due to governmental interference in the federation’s affairs. The
government has until June 8 to comply with FIFA’s non-intervention requirements
or its teams will be barred from international competition, including the
Champions League – and its berths will be reassigned. CD FAS already has
qualified with one of El Salvador’s berths, and the second would go to either
Aguila or Metapan.

2010-11
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

PRELIMINARY
ROUND
(Host
of first leg listed first)
Central
America 11 vs. Xelaju (GUA)
Brujas (CRC) vs. Joe Public (TRI)
San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) vs. Santos-Toluca (Mexican Clausura runner-up)
San Francisco (PAN) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR)
Tauro FC (PAN) vs. Marathon (HON)
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Central America 12
Toronto-Vancouver (Canadian champion) vs. Motagua (HON)

GROUP
STAGE
Group
A
Real Salt Lake (USA)

Arabe Unido (PAN)
San Francisco/Cruz Azul winner

Toronto-Vancouver/Motagua winner

Group B
Columbus Crew (USA)
Municipal (GUA)
San Juan Jabloteh/Santos-Toluca (Mexican Clausura runner-up) winner
Brujas/Joe Public winner

Group C
Monterrey (MEX)
Saprissa (CRC)
Seattle/Central America 12 winner
Tauro/Marathon winner

Group
D
Santos/Toluca
(Mexican Clausura champion)
Olimpia (HON)
Los Angeles Galaxy/Puerto Rico Islanders winner
Central America 11/Xelaju winner