SANDY, Utah – When they say that Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg between Real Salt Lake and Monterrey is winner-take-all, they’re not kidding (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer and TeleFutura).
That’s because the team that emerges the victor after Wednesday night’s match actually gets to keep the Champions League trophy, which carries the year of the competition engraved near the base. This year’s silverware will be marked “2011.”
The current edition of the trophy has been used since the launch of the new-look Champions League back in 2008-09. Two of them have been handed out thus far, both to Mexican clubs: Atlante in 2009 and Pachuca in 2010.
A new trophy is made every year by RS Owens & Company, the same group that is responsible for crafting the Oscars presented at the annual Academy Awards. The winning team will be hoisting an approximately 45-pound prize.
Real Salt Lake have not publicly named the player who is designated to receive the trophy in case of victory, although suspended captain Kyle Beckerman has been cleared by CONCACAF to participate in a potential award ceremony.
Monterrey will see their three captains involved should they win the silverware: the injured Luis Ernesto Pérez, Jesús “Cabrito” Arellano and José María Basanta, who is expected to wear the captain’s armband in Pérez’s absence.
CONCACAF made a switch in the official who will hand the trophy to the winning captain on Wednesday night. Instead of longtime CONCACAF official and FIFA executive committee member Rafael Salguero, who is returning to Guatemala to tend to a medical matter, CONCACAF deputy general secretary Ted Howard will be joined by either US Soccer Federation CEO and secretary general Dan Flynn or Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (FMF) president Justino Compeán depending on the winning club.
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