Maverick Maniac's Musings

March 29, 2009

CONCACAF Champions League 2009-2010 Qualifying

Filed under: CONCACAF Champions League,Soccer — Jon Green @ 12:11 pm

Qualifying is underway for the CONCACAF Champions League, 2009-2010 Version!  The former Champions Cup has transitioned to the Champions League, and everything is falling into the time frames that will work for the future.  24 teams will qualify for the Champions League, and 11 of those are already in.  So let’s take a look at the contenders for those final 13 spots.  The first games of the actual Champions League will be the week of July 28th :).

USA

USA did all of their qualifying by results from the 2008 MLS Season, and the U.S. Open Cup.  The Columbus Crew qualified ast the MLS Cup 2008 Winner, with the New York Red Bulls qualifying as the runner-up.  The Crew were also the Supporters’ Shield winner, so the Houston Dynamo qualified as the runner-up.  Finally D.C. United Qualified as the U.S. Open Cup winner.   Columbus and Houston will be in the group stage, while New York and D.C. will be in the preliminary round.

Mexico

Mexico will qualify the top 2 finishers in Clausura 2009 (The Spring season in Mexico).  Deportivo Toluca (group stage) and Cruz Azul (preliminary stage) are already in thanks to their finishes in the Apertura 2008.  The Clausura ends in a playoff where the top 2 finishers will be determined.  The top 8 teams make the playoff.  It appears that if Deportivo Toluca or Cruz Azul were to make the playoff final, the highest finisher in the regular season of Clausura 2009 would qualify.  Anyways, after 11 of 17 rounds in the Clausura, the top 8 are Deportivo Toluca, Pachuca, Puebla, Chiapas, Monterrey, Universidad Nacional, Atlas, and San Luis F.C.  If form holds, Pachuca and Puebla would be the top 2 teams favored to qualify.  Cruz Azul is in 13th place, and looks like they won’t be a factor.  The Clausura is scheduled to end May 10th, with the playoffs being played between May 13th and May 31st.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica will qualify the top finisher in Verano 2009, joining the winner of Invierno 2008 (Saprissa).  Much like in Mexico’s Primera División, Costa Rica’s Primera División ends in a playoff.  The winner of the Verano 2009 will take on Saprissa in a 2 game playoff with the winner entering the group stage and the loser entering the preliminary stage.  If Saprissa should win Verano 2009, they would take the group slot and the team with the best overall record (other than Saprissa) in the Verano 2009 regular season would qualify.  At this point after 11 of 16 rounds, Saprissa, Liberia Mia, Pérez Zeledón, AD Ramonense, CS Herediano, and Puntarenas F.C would make the playoff, with Saprissa favored to win the playoff and CS Herediano to grab the 2nd Champions League spot.  The Verano is scheduled to end May 3rd with the playoffs running from May 6th until May 31st.

Honduras

Honduras will qualify the winner of the playoff following their Apertura and Clausura, with the winners facing in a two-game playoff to determine who qualifies for the group stage. Marathon qualified as the winner of the Liga Nacional’s 2008 Apertura season.  The playoff in Honduras is amongst the top 4 teams.  After 13 of 18 rounds, Olimpia, Real España, Marathón, and Victoria are in qualifying position.  Olimpia is the favorite to get the 2nd qualifying spot.   The Regular season will end May 2nd, with the playoffs after that.

Guatemala

Guatemala will qualify the winner of the playoff following their Apertura and Clausura, with the winners facing in a two-game playoff to determine who qualifies for the group stage. Municipal qualified as the winner of the Liga Nacional’s 2008 Apertura season. The playoff in Guatemala is amongst the top 6 teams.  After 8 of 18 rounds, Jalapa, Deportivo Heredia, Club Xelajú MC, Deportivo Zacapa, Deportivo Xinabajul, and Municipal are in qualifying position.  Jalapa and Deportivo Heredia are the favorites to get the 2nd qualifying spot.   The Regular season will end May 24th, with the playoffs after that.

Guatemala

Guatemala will qualify the winner of the playoff following their Apertura and Clausura, with the winners facing in a two-game playoff to determine who qualifies for the group stage. Municipal qualified as the winner of the Liga Nacional’s 2008 Apertura season. The playoff in Guatemala is amongst the top 6 teams.  After 8 of 18 rounds, Jalapa, Deportivo Heredia, Club Xelajú MC, Deportivo Zacapa, Deportivo Xinabajul, and Municipal are in qualifying position.  Jalapa and Deportivo Heredia are the favorites to get the 2nd qualifying spot.   The Regular season will end May 24th, with the playoffs after that.

El Salvador

El Salvador will qualify the winner of the playoff following their Apertura and Clausura, with the winners facing in a two-game playoff to determine who qualifies for the group stage. Isidro Metapán qualified as the winner of the Liga Mayor’s 2008 Apertura season. The playoff in El Salvador is amongst the top 4 teams.  After 10 of 18 rounds, Isidro Metapán, Luis Angel Firpo, Nejapa, and Chalatenango are in qualifying position.  Isidro Metapán is the favorite to win the playoff, and Luis Angel Firpo is in position to get the 2nd qualifying spot.   The Regular season will end in May, with the playoffs after that.  It all should be wrapped up on May 31st.

Panama

Panama will qualify the winner of the playoff following their Apertura and Clausura, with the winners facing in a two-game playoff to determine who qualifies for the group stage. Árabe Unido qualified as the winner of the Liga Profesional’s 2008 Apertura season. The playoff in Panama is amongst the top 4 teams.  After 4 of 18 rounds, Tauro FC, Atlético Chiriqui, Chorrillo F.C. , and Atlético Veragüense are in qualifying position.  Tauro FC is the favorite to win the playoff, and Árabe Unido is in 8th place at this point.   The Regular season will end in May, with the playoffs after that.  It all should be wrapped up on May 31st.

Belize

Belize only gets one spot, which works well since the league only has one season.  There are 10 teams in the league, according to wikipedia, but since nothing has been updated and belize’s website is… obselete and outdated, I have no idea what’s going on here. Last time the qualifier was Hankook Verdes, so maybe they are the favorites again… hard to say if we’ll know anything about what’s going on anytime soon.

Nicaragua

Like Belize, Nicaragua only gets one spot.  That said, I’ve actually been able to find out a few things about their football situation!  Real Estelí won the Apertura 2008, and then Clausura 2009 began with 10 teams.  They played a single round robin, and the top 6 moved on to a Hexagonal.  Real Estelí was on top of the table for the Clausura 2009, with Xilotepetl, Deportivo Walter Ferreti, Deportivo Masatepe, Real Madriz FC, and Diriangén FC also qualifying for the Hexagonal.  The top 4 teams in the Hexagonal are going to move on to the Semfinals (which will either be two pairs, or another round robin tournament… If Real Estelí wins the Clausura they will qualify for the Champions League. If they don’t win, they will face off in a two-leg playoff for the spot with the Clausura 2009 champion.

Canada

Like Belize and Nicaragua, Canada only gets one spot.  Unlike Belize and Nicaragua, Canada doesn’t actually have a National League that amounts to anything.  The teams in Canada’s Soccer Legue (the Canadian Soccer League) don’t even get a chance to qualify, it’s just not possible.  Instead, Canada runs a tournament involving three clubs (Toronto FC of MLS, Montreal Impact of USL-1, and Vancouver Whitecaps of USL-1).  All teams will play each other home and away, and the winner of the tournament will represent Canada in the Champions League.  The Montreal Impact won the first Canadian Championship last year.  Things start off on May 6th when Toronto hosts Vancouver, and ends on June 17th when Montreal hosts Toronto.

Caribbean Football Union

The Caribbean clubs get 3 spots, which they determine via the CFU Club Championship. So 12 teams qualified for the 2009 Championship.  How did you qualify?  You signed up.  That’s right, you basically just signed up.  2 Teams withdrew the day before the draw, and many countries just didn’t bother to sign up.  Interesting. 1 team got a buy into the 2nd round (San Juan Jabloteh) and one team got a buy into the 3rd round (Puerto Rico Islanders of USL-1 who are still alive in the 2008-2009 Champions League!).  In Round 1, 2 matchups are complete. W Connection or Trinidad and Tabago defeating Centre Bath Estate of Dominica 17-1 on aggregate… yikes.  Apparently Centre Bath Estate might have wanted to withdraw before the tournament. Inter Moengotapoe of Suriname defeated CSD Barber of Netherlands Antilles 3-2 on aggregate.  Moengotapoe won 3-1 on the road before losing 1-0 at home.  Inter Moengotapoe will face San Juan Jabloteh in the 2nd round.  In other first round matchups, Hoppers of Antigua and Barbuda and Sevilla Bayamón of Puerto Rico tied 3-3 in Puerto Rico.  They will play their 2nd leg today.  Hoppers will probably advance in a tie, so Sevilla will need to outscore them on the road to advance.  They could also tie 3-3 to send it to PKs or tie 4-4 to advance. Tempête of Haiti anda Alpha United of Guyana tied 1-1 in Guyana.  They play today in Haiti. Alpha United must score or they will be eliminated. They will advance with a win or a tie of 2-2 or greater.  If they tie 1-1 they will go to PKs, while a 0-0 tie will advance Tempête.  The winner of these last two matchups will meet in round two.  In the final first round matchup Britannia of Aruba will host AS Cavaly of Haiti on Monday.  AS Cavaly won 5-0 at home, so they should be good to advance.  Britannia would need to win by atleast 6 goals (7 if Cavaly scores) to move on.  A 5-0 Britannia win would bring us PKs though! The winner of this matchup will face W Connection in the 2nd round.  The 2nd round matches will be played on April 13th and 20th. The 3 3rd round winners will join Puerto Rico Islanders in the 3rd round, playing single elimination games on May 15th in Trinidad.  The two winners will advance to the Champions League and meet for the Championship on the 17th.  The two losers will also face off on the 17th for the final Champions League Spot.

So that’s it.  Lots of football to go, but things are getting clearer every week.  We’ll have to wait until May to finalize the qualifiers, but we’re getting a better picture of who might be getting these spots.

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