D.C. United and Kansas City Wizards learn path to FIFA Club World Championship

NEW YORK - The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today revealed the matchups for the 2005 CONCACAF Champions' Cup in a draw which included the two representatives of the United States: MLS Cup 2004 champions D.C. United and MLS Cup 2004 runner-ups Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer. The CONCACAF Champions' Cup is the longest running international club competition in the region (comprising 40 nations including the United States) and has crowned the champion club of the Confederation since its inception in 1962. The winner of the eight-team tournament will qualify to the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship to be held in Japan in December 2005 to determine the world's top club.

D.C. United and the Kansas City Wizards will represent the United States in the eight-team competition, to be staged as two-leg, straight knockout, home-and-away series, from March 9 to May 11, 2005. The respective series venues and kickoff times will be announced in the near future.

D.C. United, which became the first MLS team to win the tournament in 1998, will host the first game of the quarterfinal series on March 9 against Jamaican clubs Harbour View FC or Tivoli Gardens FC, who will play on Wednesday for the Caribbean club championship. The return leg will be played in Jamaica on March 16. The winner of that series will play the winner of the series between CD Olimpia of Honduras and three-time CONCACAF Champions' Cup winners UNAM Pumas of Mexico (1980, 1982, 1989) in one of the two semifinal series.

The Kansas City Wizards, who reached the semifinals of the 2002 CONCACAF Champions' Cup tournament, take on two-time CONCACAF Champions' Cup winners Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica (1993, 1995). Kansas City will host the first leg on March 9, returning to Costa Rica for the second leg on March 16. The winner of the series will face the winner of the matchup between CF Monterrey (Mexico) and CSD Municipal (Guatemala) in the other semifinal series.

The CONCACAF Champions' Cup semifinal series will be played on April 6 and April 13, with the final series held on May 4 and May 11.

The club champions of each of the six confederations will qualify for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in a tournament to be held in December 2005 in Japan.

Major League Soccer's 12 clubs continue their preparations ahead of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, January 14 in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.