• Thursday Aug 08, 2013

    Week One in CCL concludes on Thursday

    Costa Rica's Herediano is one of six teams in CONCACAF Champions League action on August 8, 2013. (Photo: German Alegria)

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Week One play in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) concludes Thursday with matches involving teams solely from the confederation’s Caribbean and Central American regions.

    The evening starts with the first-ever CCL game in Haiti, as host Valencia FC takes on Costa Rica’s Herediano at the Stade Sylvio Cator.  It marks the second time that a Haitian side has appeared in the competition.  Tempete qualified for the 2011-12 edition, but played both of its preliminary round games against Morelia in Mexico. 

    Later in the evening, games will be held in El Salvador and Panama.

    Here’s a look at tonight’s action:

    VALENCIA FC v HEREDIANO (Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Stade Sylvio Cator -- 8 p.m. ET)

    It is the first-ever Champions League meeting between the sides.  Valencia qualified for the CCL by winning Group 2 in Caribbean qualifying.  In Herediano, it faces a team that is making its fourth appearance in the competition and advanced to last season’s quarterfinals.

    What to watch for?

    It will be intriguing to guage how Valencia handles the intricacies of CCL play.  The Haitians scored seven goals in three Caribbean qualifying games, but it is squaring off against a Herediano team that has conceded one goal or less in eight of its last CCL encounters.

    Herediano is an experienced CCL squad that is unbeaten in six of its last seven outings in the competition.  Will it look to attack on the road?

     ISIDRO METAPAN v CARTAGINES (San Salvador, El Salvador – Estadio Cuscatlan -- 10 p.m. ET)

    It is the first-ever CCL meeting between the Central American clubs.  Once the opening whistle blows, Isidro Metapan will become the first team to play in each of the CCL’s six editions (Olimpia will join them on that exclusive list later this month).  Cartagines is making its competition debut, but it did win the CONCACAF Champions Cup, defeating Mexico’s Atlante 3-2 in the 1994 final.

    What to watch for?

    Isidro Metapan has conceded 20 goals in its last five CCL outings.  Can the defense lift its game and help the Salvadorans snap a three-game tournament losing streak?

    Cartagines was given the difficult task of opening its CCL campaign on the road.  A positive result in San Salvador may provide a confidence-boosting springboard for upcoming games.

    ARABE UNIDO v DIRECTV W Conenction (Panama City, Panama – Estadio Rommel Fernandez – 10 p.m. ET)

    They have never before in the competition, but between them, Arabe Unido and DIRECTV W Conenction have appeared in a combined 28 games.

    What to watch for?

    Arabe Unido has lost eight of its last nine CCL matches, but each of those games was against North American opposition.  Can it reverse trend against the Caribbean power? 

    DIRECTV W Connection drew 1-1 with Mexico’s Guadalajara in its last CCL game slightly more than 10 months ago. Will the memories of that outstanding performance provide the impetus for a similar showing in Panama?

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