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Concacaf Champions League 2021 draw: What you need to know

Several MLS teams will find out their opponents for the 2021 Concacaf Champions League season on Wednesday, when the confederation hosts the draw for the latest edition of the tournament. The draw will start at 7 pm ET, and will be broadcast on TUDN and on as well as Fox Soccer's Twitter and YouTube pages.

The four MLS qualifiers — Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, and Portland Timbers, as well as Toronto FC if they win their Canadian Championship Final — will all be placed in Pot A. All Liga MX qualifiers will also be in Pot A, with the exception of Club Leon (check out our guide on the possible opponents for MLS clubs).

Atlanta returns for a third consecutive time after two quarterfinal exits in 2019 and 2020, while the Timbers are back for the first time since the 2016-17 season and the Crew return after last participating in the 2010-11 season. The Union, after winning the Supporters' Shield in 2020, will play in the Concacaf Champions League for the first time.


How the draw will work

The official draw will be executed using a double-blind system and four pots. Pots 1 and 2 will contain the spheres with the names of the 16 participating clubs. Pots A and B will contain the spheres with the bracket positions for the Round of 16.

Based on the 2021 SCCL Ranking, clubs will be distributed in Pots 1 and 2 as follows (in alphabetical order by country):

Pot 1 (clubs ranked 1-8): Forge FC or Toronto FC (CAN), CF Monterrey (MEX), Club America (MEX), Cruz Azul (MEX), Atlanta United FC (USA), Columbus Crew SC (USA), Philadelphia Union (USA) and Portland Timbers (USA). 

Pot 2 (clubs ranked 9-16): Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), LD Alajuelense (CRC), Club Atletico Pantoja (DOM), Arcahaie FC (HAI), CD Marathon (HON), CD Olimpia (HON), Club Leon (MEX) and Real Esteli FC (NCA). 

The Round of 16 bracket positions will be divided in Pots A and B as follows:

Pot A: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8.

Pot B: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7 and B8.

The draw will begin by randomly selecting a sphere from Pot 1, followed by a sphere from Pot A to confirm the club’s bracket position. The same process will apply for the remaining clubs in Pot 1, always drawing a club, followed by a bracket position from Pot A.   

Once the eight clubs in Pot 1 have been assigned to a matchup, the first sphere from Pot 2 will be randomly drawn, followed by a bracket position sphere from Pot B. The same procedure will apply for all Pot 2 spheres. 

At the end of the draw, each Round of 16 matchup will feature one club from each pot and no more than one club from each country, as per competition regulations, clubs from the same country cannot face each other in the Round of 16.