Another historic moment will happen tonight for the Philadelphia Union. For the very first time in franchise history they will be part of the Concacaf Champions League. The U qualified for the continental champions league because they won the Supporters’ Shield last season. Tonight we will see the 16 teams get placed in the bracket.
If you are familiar with how the FIFA World Cup does their draw, you will understand the next part. Give me a few minutes to break down what will happen tonight. The 16 teams will be split into two pots. These two pots are broken down by team rankings, pot 1 will be where clubs ranked 1-8 are placed (this includes the Union). Pot 2 holds the clubs ranked 9-16.
Then we will have another two pots, those are grouped A1 through A8 and then B1 through B8. What you will see tonight is Concacaf Director of Competitions, Carlos Fernandez selecting two spheres at once. One sphere from Pot 1 and then the second one will be from Pot A. These two spheres will decide where on the bracket the teams will sit. For example if the Director drew Philadelphia Union from pot 1 and then say A4 from Pot A, the Union will be seeded in the A4 section of the bracket.
They will go through Pot 1 and those teams are seeded, they will do the same exact procedure for Pot 2. Once this is done we will know the round of 16 matchup, which will feature one club from each country. Per competition rules clubs from the same country are not allowed to play each other in the round of 16. This means you won’t see the Union take on the Crew, however the two are in the same pot so theoretically it isn’t possible for that matchup to even happen.
Okay, hopefully the breakdown helps you understand what to expect tonight. Now, in case you didn’t know which teams were involved tonight they are the following:
Canada: Forge FC or Toronto FC (winner of the 2020 Canadian Championship will compete, date TBC)
Costa Rica: Deportivo Saprissa and LD Alajuelense
Dominican Republic: Club Atletico Pantoja
Haiti: Arcahaie FC
Honduras: CD Marathon and CD Olimpia
Mexico: Club América, Club León, Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey
Nicaragua: Real Estelí FC
USA: Atlanta United FC, Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers