CCL 2011-12 Qualifiers: Last Call in Latin America

Posted on May 20, 2011 4:51 pm

Before any Puerto Ricans get on my case, I will clear this up from the start: for the purpose of this entry, I am using the definition of “Latin America” as the mainland countries, from Mexico to the Southern Cone, leaving the Caribbean in its own category. Not to say that it coincides with my personal definition of the region, mind you.

With that said, the last remaining mysteries involving the Mexican and Central American qualifiers for the next Champions League will be solved over the weekend. First of all, as we already know, CONCACAF predictably stripped a spot from Belize (where, incidentally, a grassroots movement aims to form a new national association to replace the FFB) and gave it to Honduras’s Olimpia, hence their placement in the list of qualifiers.

Nicaragua got to keep its place, however, and tomorrow afternoon we will find out who will occupy it. Down 1-0 from the first leg last Sunday, Real Esteli will host Walter Ferretti at the CONCACAF-approved Estadio Independencia. I’m not sure about the time of the match: Real Esteli says that it will begin at 7:00 p.m. (all times EST), while Soccerway has the match starting at 5:00 p.m. Given the latter’s mishap with recording the result of the Diriangen-Walter Ferretti match, I’m inclined to believe Esteli on this one. Either way, Real need a one-goal win to force overtime; a win by two goals or more will give them the Clausura title, while a tie or loss would hand the Nicaraguan army’s team, Walter Ferretti, the bicampeonato and a home-and-away date with the Canadian champion.

On a side note, should Walter Ferretti make their lead count tomorrow, they might not have to use the Estadio Independencia in Esteli: according to La Nación of Costa Rica, CONCACAF spokesman Benjamin Spencer remarked that the National Stadium in Managua also “has a great chance of being approved [by CONCACAF].” We will see if that is necessary, both for a potential Walter Ferretti journey into the CCL and for Nicaragua’s national team, with three World Cup qualifiers to be hosted in the fall.

Up north in Mexico, the second leg of the Clausura Final will take place at 1:00 p.m. in la Ciudad Universitaria, as Pumas take on Morelia for both a domestic title and for the right to head Group C of the CCL. They tied 1-1 in the first leg, so anyone can take the championship with a victory, while another tie would send the Final into overtime and penalties, if necessary.

Since the draw is already out, I will maintain this list of qualifiers until the end of the CFU Club Champions Cup a week from now, at which time I will republish the groups with all the confirmed teams in their starting positions. UPDATE: until that time, I will simply update the “Group Evaluation” entry with the newly-confirmed teams.

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) Municipal [GUA2]
13) Herediano [CRC2]
14) San Francisco [PAN2]
15) Pumas UNAM [MEX2]
16) Alianza [SLV2]
17) Motagua [HON2]
18) Monarcas Morelia [MEX4]
19) Olimpia (HON) [BLZ]
20) Real Estel

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