With the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League draw tonight, FC Dallas will find out who will fill out their group stage schedule when the tournament opens later this fall. Let’s take a look at who their possible opponents could be.
For starters, each of the 24 qualified teams will be broken into three pots - or groups from which they will be drawn. One team from each of the three pots will be drawn to comprise a single group. The process will repeat until eight groups are formed.
You can catch all the action tonight at 7 CT on FCDallas.com.
The four U.S. representatives - FC Dallas, Sporting KC, Portland Timbers and the New York Red Bulls - are placed into a pot with the four Mexico representatives, all from Liga MX - Tigres, Pumas, Pachuca and Monterrey. Because all eight teams are being drawn from the same pot, none of the eight can end up in a group with one another.
Pot 2 is comprised of the Canadian qualified team, as well as 7 of the 12 teams qualified from the Central American region. Dallas will face one of the following eight teams:
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Well-known foes from MLS play, Vancouver is the only familiar side that FCD could face. The Whitecaps earned their qualification into CCL as the winners of the 2015 Canadian Championship. This is their second-straight appearance in the tournament after failing to get past the group stage last season.
Saprissa (Costa Rica) - ‘La S’ qualified for their sixth CCL by virtue of their 2015 Campeonato de Invierno championship - the fall season of the Costa Rican FPD. Their best finish came in the 2010-11 CCL when they reached the semifinal round, losing to Real Salt Lake on a 3-2 aggregate score.
Herediano (Costa Rica) - ‘El Team’ also comes from the Costa Rican FPD, but as 2016 Campeonato de Verano, or Spring season, champions. Making their 7th CCL appearance, their best finish came in 2014-15 reaching the semifinal round and falling to eventual-champion América (Liga MX).
Honduras Pregreso (Honduras) - ‘Honduras’ makes their first-ever appearance in CCL this fall, qualifying as 2015 Apertura (first half) champions of the Honduran Liga Nacional.
Olimpia (Honduras) - The other Honduran Liga Nacional representative is much more experienced in CCL, making their 9th appearance this fall as the 2016 Clausura (second half) champions. They’ve reached the quarterfinal round twice.
Antigua (Guatemala) - One of two Guatemalan sides making their CCL debuts, ‘Los Panzas Verdes’ qualified as the 2015 Apertura (first half) champions of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala.
Suchitepéquez (Guatemala) - The ‘Venados’ are also in their first CCL this season, as the 2016 Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala Clausura (second half) champions.
Árabe Unido (Panama) - With the Panamanian CCL delegation split between pots, ‘El Expreso Azul’ round out the Pot 2 teams. This is their 5th tournament and have reached the Quarterfinals on two occasions.
Pot 1 is comprised of the remaining 5 qualifying teams from Central America, as well as the 3 qualifying teams from the Caribbean. FCD will face one of the following eight clubs:
Plaza Amador (Panama) - ‘Los Leones’ make their first CCL appearance as the 2016 Liga Panameña de Fútbol Clausura (second half) champions.
Alianza (El Salvador) - Having faced ‘Los Albos’ in a preseason friendly a few months back, Alianza could be drawn as a group stage opponent for FC Dallas in CCL. This is the second tournament appearance for the 2015 Primera División de Fútbol Profesional Apertura (first half) champions - their other appearance in 2011-12.
Dragón (El Salvador) - Making their first appearance in CCL, Dragón qualified as the 2016 Clausura champions from the Primera División de Fútbol Profesional.
Real Estelí (Nicaragua) - The only representatives from Nicaragua, ‘El Tren del Norte’ finished atop the Primera División de Nicaragua in 2015-16 with a 27-3-6 record. They make their 6th CCL appearance, never having advanced past the group stage.
Police United (Belize) - Belize’s only qualifier for CCL, Police United make their first appearance in the tournament after finishing first in the Premier League of Belize during the 2015-16 season.
Central (Trinidad and Tobago) - ’The Sharks’ make their 2nd CCL appearance as winners of the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship. They also qualified for last season’s tournament, not advancing past the group stage.
W Connection (Trinidad and Tobago) - The ’Savonetta Boys’ finished just behind their fellow T&T club in the CFU Club Championship to qualify for their 5th CCL this fall. They have never advanced out of the group stage.
Don Bosco (Haiti) - The Haitian side finished 3rd in the CFU Club Championship to reach their first CCL tournament in club history.