CCL 2011-12 Qualifiers: A Correction on Nicaragua

Posted on May 16, 2011 4:13 pm

I was curious when the Hexagonal Blog stated in its Central American recap that CONCACAF had inspected the Estadio Independencia in Nicaragua last week, so I went looking for a source to confirm that information. Pinolero Sports had nothing, but Real Esteli’s own Facebook page proved a treasure trove of information regarding the Nicaraguan league’s CCL status.

Besides summarizing the Estadio Independencia examination conducted by Victor Estrada of UNCAF, Real Esteli’s page also explained the current situation with Nicaragua’s representation in the CCL:

For non-Spanish speakers:

“Let us remember that the winner [of the Nicaraguan Clausura Final] will represent Nicaragua in the [CONCACAF Champions League].”

This clarifies how Nicaragua decides which of its clubs will qualify for the CCL. The Hexagonal Blog is wrong for asserting that if the Apertura and Clausura champions are different, then the Grand Final played between them will produce the Nicaraguan qualifier. From Real Esteli’s Facebook page:

Translated: “If Real Esteli wins [the Clausura Final] it will go to the Champions League and it will have to play two more times against Walter Ferretti (Apertura champion) for the absolute title.”

So the Nicaraguan team will have already been determined before the Grand Final even begins, as previously inferred here. The Regional Review was also wrong, however, in stating that Walter Ferretti had already wrapped up Nicaragua’s spot based on regular-season record. If the first round and the semifinal round of both the Apertura and Clausura tournaments are taken into account, then Walter Ferretti could have claimed a better full-year record with 77 points to Real Esteli’s 64. However, if only the first round of each tournament counts, then Walter Ferretti and Real Esteli are tied on 49 points over the full year. So, while Walter Ferretti would seal the deal with back-to-back championships, if Real Esteli manages to win the Clausura, then by virtue of having beaten Walter Ferretti to do so, Real Esteli would earn the right to represent Nicaragua in the CCL…should CONCACAF grant any Nicaraguan club the opportunity.

With that said, Walter Ferretti won 1-0 in the first leg of the Clausura Final last Sunday, so Real Esteli will need to win at home on Saturday before they can think of another crack at the continental stage. A 1-0 victory for Esteli will force overtime; any win by two goals or more gives them the Clausura title, while a tie or loss will allow Walter Ferretti to celebrate the bicampeonato.

2011-12 CCL Qualifiers

1) Seattle Sounders [USA4]
2) LA Galaxy [USA2]
3) Colorado Rapids [USA1]
4) FC Dallas [USA3]
5) Santos Laguna [MEX3]
6) CF Monterrey [MEX1]
7) Real España [HON1]
8) Tauro [PAN1]
9) LD Alajuelense [CRC1]
10) Isidro Metapán [SLV1]
11) Comunicaciones [GUA1]
12) Belize Defence Force [BLZ] *
13) Municipal [GUA2]
14) Herediano [CRC2]
15) San Francisco [PAN2]
16) Pumas UNAM [MEX2 or MEX4]
17) Alianza [SLV2]
18) Motagua [HON2]
19) Monarcas Morelia [MEX2 or MEX4]

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