Canadian Champions Montreal Impact will learn their CONCACAF Champions League fate later this evening.
Draw seeding for their eagerly anticipated next sojourn into Continental soccer sees them definitely avoid another MLS opponent in Round One of the two-legged knock-out tournament.
All five MLS clubs have been seeded in Pot 1 alongside three of the four Liga MX qualifiers.
The Mexican club excluded from Pot 1 is Club Leon and they immediately become the team to avoid in tonight’s draw.
Apart from Club Leon, the other clubs which Montreal Impact could face are, AD San Carlos (Costa Rica), Alianza FC (El Salvador), Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Motogua (Honduras), Olimpia (Honduras), Portmore United (Jamaica) and Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica).
Deportivo Saprissa is the only club amongst the eight possible opponents to have reached the last four of the competition since it was re-branded as the CONCACAF Champions’ League in 2008, although the Costa Ricans (3), Olimpia (2), Comunicaciones and Alianza are all past Continental Club Champions. And like Montreal, Club Leon have previously been beaten finalists (1993).
The draw will feature a double blind system and four pots. Pots 1 and 2 will contain the names of the 16 participating clubs, pots A and B the 16 possible bracket positions for the competition’s first round.
Also qualified and in Montreal Impact’s pot for the draw are MLS clubs, Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders, as well as newcomers LAFC and NYCFC. The other three Mexican clubs that make up pot 1 are well experienced continental campaigners, Cruz Azul, Tigres UNAL and Club America, the only club in this year’s competition that Montreal Impact has previously met in CONCACAF play.
Only three players from the current Montreal Impact squad has experience with the club in this completion. Evan Bush holds the club record for appearances on 13. Nacho Piatti has 8 appearances to his credit and needs two more goals to tie Marco di Vaio, the club’s record scorer in the competition with 4.
The only other current Impact player to have experience in the competition is Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who emerged on just one occasion from the bench.