Monterrey, Salt Lake close in on finals
Monterrey and Real Salt Lake moved a step closer to the Champions League finals last week with opening wins in their respecitve semifinal series.
On Tuesday Real Salt Lake defeated Costa Rica of Saprissa 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The second leg will be played on August 5 in San Jose, Costa Rica. A day later, Monterrey defeated Cruz Azul 2-1 to take a lead back to Mexico City on April 6.
The finals will begin on April 20 in Mexico before wrapping up April 27 in either Salt Lake or San Jose. Four advance in Caribbean club championship
Trinidadian sides Defence Force and Caledonia AIA advanced to the second round of the Caribbean club championship along with Guyana's Milerock and River Plate FC of Puerto Rico, completing aggregate victories to join the defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders.
River Plate lost 1-0 to Bodden Town on Sunday, but advanced after its 2-0 win on Friday. River will now face Alpha United of Guyana, which advanced when its first-round opponent - Bassa Sports Club of Antigua - withdrew.
Defence Force grabbed a 3-0 victory over the Dandy Town Hornets and complete a 4-1 win.
The Trinidadian champion next will face Milerock of Guyana, which won 2-1 at Inter Moengotapoe on Saturday and advanced on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw. Caledonia trounced Newtown United of St. Kitts and Nevis 5-0 on Saturday after a 1-0 victory.
The TT Pro League runner-up next will face Tempete of Haiti, which - like Alpha United - advanced to the second round when Bath Estate of Dominica withdrew.
The remaining second-round pairing of the CFU Club Champions Cup will have the Islanders face either Walking Boyz of Suriname or Northern United of St. Lucia. Walking Boyz won the first leg 3-0 on March 13 and returns home for the decider on Saturday.
U-20 Championship to kick off in Guatemala on Monday
Twelve teams are making their final preparations for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, which will decide the region's four World Cup berths and gets underway in Guatemala City on Monday.
Six-time champion Mexico will highlight the first day's play, facing Cuba in the second game of an opening day doubleheader.
Crossover quarterfinals will be start April 5, with the winner of Group C facing the runner-up from Group D and vice versa. Likewise, the winners of Groups A and B will play their counterpart runners-up the following day.
The quarterfinals will decide CONCACAF's berths for the Under-20 World Cup, with the four winners qualifying for the July 29-August 20 event in Colombia.
The semifinals are scheduled for April 8 with the championship and third-place game two days later.
Gold Cup tickets on sale
After going on sale last week, fans can continue to purchase tickets for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Fans can buy tickets and obtain information for all games by visiting www.GoldCup.org .
With the exception of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, and FIU Stadium in Miami, fans can also purchase tickets through TicketMaster. CONCACAF's premier national team tournament will begin at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on June 5, when defending champion Mexico faces El Salvador and Cuba takes on Costa Rica.
Suarez takes over Honduras
Luis Fernando Suarez, the Colombian who led Ecuador into the second round at the 2006 World Cup, will take over Central American champion Honduras with the goal of taking the Catrachos to Brazil in 2014.
The 51-year-old Medellin native, who played for Atletico Nacional and Deportivo Pereira before beginning his managing career in 1999, follows Reinaldo Rueda, who took Honduras to its first World Cup since 1982 last year, and his interim replacement Juan de Dios Castillo.
Suarez is to observe the Catrachos for their friendlies at South Korea on Friday and China four days later before taking charge heading into the CONCACAF Gold Cup June 5-25.
Miami Cup beach tourney set for April-May
CONCACAF champion Mexico, the United States and 13-time and reigning world champ Brazil will headline and eight-team field for the Miami Cup beach soccer exhibition tournament April 29-May 1, Beach Soccer Worldwide announced Wednesday.
The tournament will be played at a temporary stadium on the sand at South Beach between 20th and 22nd Streets following the annual Miami Beach Polo exhibition event. The Miami Cup will be the first event for the CONCACAF sides since December, when Mexico defeated El Salvador for the confederation title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The 2011 Beach Soccer World Cup, in which Mexico and El Salvador have qualified, will be played September 1-11 in Ravenna, Italy.
National association matches
1.22.2011 - Carson, California:
UNITED STATES - CHILE 1:1
2.8.2011: Moquegua, Peru:
PANAMA - PERU 0:1
2.9.2011: Larissa, Greece:
GREECE - CANADA 1:0
2.9.2011: San Salvador, El Salvador:
EL SALVADOR - HAITI 1:0
2.9.2011: La Ceiba, Honduras:
HONDURAS - ECUADOR 1:1
MEXICO - BOSNIA 2:0
2.9.2011: Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela:
VENEZUELA - COSTA RICA 2:2
3.25.2011: Panama City:
PANAMA - BOLIVIA
3.24.2011: Havana, Cuba:
CUBA - EL SALVADOR
SOUTH KOREA- HONDURAS
3.25.2011: Montego Bay, Jamaica:
JAMAICA - VENEZUELA
3.26.2011: San Jose, Costa Rica:
COSTA RICA - CHINA
3.26.2011: Bassaterre, St. Kitts and Nevis:
ST. KITTS & NEVIS - GRENADA
3.26.2011: New York:
UNITED STATES - ARGENTINA
MEXICO - PARAGUAY
3.26.2011: Havana, Cuba:
CUBA - PANAMA
3.27.2011: San Salvador, El Salvador:
EL SALVADOR - JAMAICA
3.28.2011: Mazatenango, Guatemala:
GUATEMALA - BOLIVIA
3.29.2011: San Jose, Costa Rica:
COSTA RICA - ARGENTINA
UNITED STATES - PARAGUAY
4.1.2011: St. Georges, Grenada:
GRENADA - ST. KITTS & NEVIS