CCL Qualifiers Round-up: Alajuelense to the Group Stage, Take 1

Posted on April 9, 2011 10:03 am

This weekend, no club finds itself on the verge of qualifying for next CONCACAF Champions League. However, la Liga Deportiva Alajuelense is tantalizingly close to breaking the longest streak of automatic group-stage entries to date in the CCL, Saprissa having held the honor on each of the last three occasions.

For some reason, the Costa Rican league includes playoff results (i.e. counting wins, losses and draws based on the FIFA point system) in its “Tabla General” for the whole year, in order to determine both relegation (sadly for me, la Universidad de Costa Rica finally bit the dust after three years of constantly fighting for survival) and who receives the CRC1 spot in the Champions League.

Adding up results from the regular seasons of the Torneo de Invierno (fall, by North American seasons) and the Torneo de Verano (N.A. spring), as well as the Torneo de Invierno playoffs, we find that as of right now Alajuelense has 79 points. The only team within 18 points of them – that is, teams that could catch the manudos with six straight wins in the upcoming Torneo de Verano playoffs – is Herediano, who is well behind on 63.

The quarterfinals begin today, and Alajuelense will qualify directly to the next CCL’s group stage this weekend if:

- Herediano loses at home against Limon tonight at 10 p.m. (Eastern)*, OR
- Alajuelense wins on the road against Perez Zeledon, tomorrow at 6 p.m.

* This came can be found on Repretel’s Canal 6

Otherwise, as mentioned before, the regular season wraps up in the Guatemalan league this weekend; a review of which teams made it to the next round and an update on the race for Guatemala’s automatic spot will be provided ahead of the beginning of their playoffs. ** And in Guyana, the second round of the CFU Club Championship begins tomorrow with local team Milerock playing the first leg of their series against Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago.

But “la Liga” is the only team that can potentially see their status change on the list of qualifiers (below). Here’s hoping that Alajuelense ends up in a group with the LA Galaxy, and maybe prelim survivors Toronto FC and Santos Laguna in [Support] Group A: the Islanders’ Victims.

1) Seattle Sounders [USA4]
2) LA Galaxy [USA2]
3) Colorado Rapids [USA1]
4) FC Dallas [USA3]
5) Santos Laguna [MEX2 or MEX3]
6) Monterrey [MEX1]
7) Real España [HON1 or HON2]
8) Tauro [PAN1 or PAN2]
9) LD Alajuelense [CRC1 or CRC2]
10) Isidro Metapán [SLV1 or SLV2]
11) Comunicaciones [GUA1 or GUA2]

** Update/Correction: Guatemala’s is a 12-team league, so there are four matchdays left in their Clausura season, which ends on April 24.

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