CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Breakdown of RBNY's opponents in Group 3
HARRISON, NJ (May 29, 2014) – After last night’s draw, the New York Red Bulls now know one of their CONCACAF Champions League group stage opponents and are very familiar with the two teams trying to secure the third spot via the Amway Canadian Championship. The Red Bulls will be competing in the 24-team regional tournament for the first time since 2009-10.
New York was drawn into Group 3 with El Salvador’s league champions, CD FAS, and the winner of the Amway Canadian Championship, which is being contested between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact. The first leg was played on May 28 at BMO Field in Toronto and ended with a 1-1 scoreline. The winner over two legs is determined via most goals scored and does not utilize the away-goal rule. Leg two will take place at Montreal’s Saputo Stadium on June 4.
Clup Deportivo Futbolistas Asociados Santanecos (CD FAS) is based in Santa Ana, El Salvador, and hold the record for most national league titles with 17. The Tigres also won the 1979 iteration of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, the predecessor to today’s Champions League. Since the new format began in 2008, CD FAS has made the competition twice in 2010-11 and 2012-13 but has failed to get out of the group stages. The man to watch is Argentine forward Alejandro de la Cruz Bentos, the club’s third all-time leader scorer with 101 goals.
Toronto FC have qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League in four of the past five years by winning the Canadian Championship four years in a row between 2009 and 2012. Only in 2010 did the Reds escape the group stages and eventually lost in the semi-finals to runners-up Santos Laguna. The 6-2 loss in the second leg was the first and only loss Toronto has ever suffered in the competition. They are 9-1-4 overall. Currently in MLS, Toronto is in sole possession of 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points and a 4-4-1 record but is the only team in the league to have played under 10 matches thus far.
The Montreal Impact sit in last place of the Eastern Conference with a 1-6-4 record and just seven points, lowest in MLS. The Impact are the reigning Canadian Championship winners and nearly made it out of the group stages in last year’s CONCACAF Champions League only to lose out to the San Jose Earthquakes via goal differential. Italian forward Marco Di Vaio is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer with 28 across just 64 appearances.
The Red Bulls will play both teams home and away in a round robin format and the club with the most points will advance to the knockout stages. The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League will represent the region at next year’s FIFA Club World Cup.