CCL: Confusion reigns supreme during draw as MLS clubs learn opponents for 2013-14 tournament

CONCACAF Champions League trophy

Photo Credit: 
Mexsport

CONCACAF announced the draw for the upcoming 2013-14 Champions League tournament Monday in Miami, but the initial result left observers scratching their heads.

The initial draw — which was broadcast live on Univision Deportes — was immediately thrown out, and quickly redrawn in the span of an hour, owing to conflicts in the composition of two of the groups.

At heart in the confusion was the composition of Groups 7 and 8 in the draw. Despite keeping the Mexican and American clubs apart in the group stage during the 2012-13 CCL, Group 7 included Mexican team Club Tijuana and the Houston Dynamo, while Group 8 consisted of the LA Galaxy and Mexico's Cruz Azul. Since both groups had two Mexican teams and two American teams, they could not simply be redrawn with each other. This required four groups to be redrawn.

Following the second draw, which appears to be binding, Houston were paired up with Panama's Árabe Unido and Trinidadian club W Connection in Group 1. Sporting Kansas City, making their first appearance in the current incarnation of the CCL, are in Group 2 with Honduran club Olimpia and Nicaragua's Real Estelí, meaning they will have two tough road games in Central America.

Two MLS clubs will face off in Group 5, as the San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact will represent their respective countries, as well as the champions of Guatemala's current Clausura championship (still to be determined). 

Finally, the Galaxy remain in Group 8, alongside El Salvador's Isidro Metapán, quarterfinalists in 2011-12, and Club Sport Cartaginés of Costa Rica. 

The complete schedule for the tournament will be released later this month.

FULL DRAW FOR 2013-14 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE

Group

Clubs Country
1 Árabe Unido
Houston Dynamo
W Connection
Panama
USA
Trinidad & Tobago
2 Olimpia
Sporting Kansas City
Real Estelí
Honduras
USA
Nicaragua
3 Herediano
Cruz Azul
Valencia FC
Costa Rica
Mexico
Haiti
4 Club América
LD Alajuelense
Sporting San Miguelito
Mexico
Costa Rica
Panama
5 San Jose Earthquakes
Montreal Impact
Guatemala 2 (TBD)
USA
Canada
Guatemala
6 Comunicaciones
Toluca
Caledonia AIA
Guatemala
Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago
7 Club Tijuana
CD Victoria
Luis Ángel Firpo
Mexico
Honduras
El Salvador
8 LA Galaxy
Isidro Metapán
Cartaginés
USA
El Salvador
Costa Rica