RSL Learns Champions League Draw


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.


(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 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