• Friday Sep 08, 2017

    SCL Semifinalists: Domestic League Preview

    Arabe Unido players (pictured) celebrate after scoring against host Aguila in a Scotiabank CONCACAF League quarterfinal, first-leg game on August 16, 2017, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Salvador Melendez)

    MIAMI – Prior to the start of 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) semifinal action next week, the final-four contenders first have to navigate domestic league duties.

    CONCACAF.com looks at the weekend action:

    ARABE UNIDO (Panama)

    Next 2017 Panamanian Apertura match: Saturday, September 9, away v Tauro

    Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, First Leg): Wednesday, September 13, home v Santos de Guapiles

    Unbeaten Arabe Unido (5W-3D-0L, 18 points) currently sits in a tie for first place in the Panamanian Apertura standings with fellow SCL semifinalist Plaza Amador.  Both sides have scored 13 goals and conceded five.  The Expreso Azul is coming off a 4-1 home win over Atletico Veragüense on September 2 as four different players got on the scoresheet: Josiel Núñez (7’), Nelson Barahona (25’), Renán Addles (62’) and Daniel Ortiz (86’).

    OLIMPIA (Honduras)

    Next 2017 Honduran Apertura match: Sunday, September 10, away v Motagua

    Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, First Leg): Thursday, September 14, away v Plaza Amador

    After opening the Honduran Apertura with two straight wins, Olimpia (2-1-1, 7) is winless in its last two outings and has dropped to fourth place, but is only one point behind first-place Motagua.  The Lions have scored and conceded only two goals through four games. In its last outing on September 3, Olimpia dropped a 2-0 decision at Real España.

    PLAZA AMADOR (Panama)

    Next 2017 Panamanian Apertura match: Saturday, September 9, home v San Francisco

    Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, First Leg): Thursday, September 14, home v Olimpia

    Through eight Panamanian Apertura matches, Plaza Amador (5W-3D-0L, 18 points) shares the top spot in the table with fellow SCL semifinalist Arabe Unido.  In their last domestic outing on September 3, the Lions earned a 3-1 win over host CA Independiente.  Ameth Ramírez (53’, 59’) scored two goals and Jose Murillo (67’) netted the other.  With four goals, Murillo is the Apertura’s joint-top scorer along with the Chorrillo FC duo of Alfredo Stephens and Rolando Blackburn.

    SANTOS DE GUAPILES (Costa Rica)

    Next 2017 Costa Rican Invierno match: Saturday, September 9, away v Carmelita

    Next 2017 SCL match (Semifinal, First Leg): Wednesday, September 13, away v Arabe Unido

    A three-match winless streak has seen Santos de Guapiles (2W-3D-2L, 9 points) drop to seventh in the Costa Rican Invierno standings.  Santos avoided a third straight loss in its last outing on September 2 thanks to Jose Garro’s equalizer in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time in a 2-2 draw against visiting Limon.  Kenneth Dixon (4’) also scored in the stalemate.  Milestones related to the match: Starling Matarrita competed in his 100th first-division game, while Juan Diego Madrigal made his 100th appearance for Santos.

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