Monterrey looks to repeat as CCL Champions
Following a 2-0 1st leg win last week at home, Monterrey will look to clinch a second-straight CONCACAF Champions League title on Wednesday in the final's 2nd leg against Santos in Torreon.
Humberto Suazo lifted the Rayados to victory in the opener with two goals (60', 86'). The Chilean is the tournament's leading scorer with seven goals, but will miss the return match due to yellow card accumulation. Defenders Osmar Mares and Felipe Baloy, both of Santos, are also suspended for the same reason.
Santos comes into the game on a high after beating defending Mexican league champion Tigres 3-0 on Saturday in Clausura play. Rodolfo Salinas (20'), Carlos Darwin Quintero (23') and Juan Pablo Rodriguez (66') each scored for the team led by head coach Benjamin Galindo. With the three points, Santos moved back on top of the Torneo Clausura standings.
Monterry tied Atlante 1-1 at home on Saturday night. Suazo scored the equalizer four minutes into injury time to keep the Rayados in fifth place in the league standings.
For more information on the CONCACAF Champions League, please click here. Victory, Baltimore and Inter Moengotapoe advance in the Caribbean Club Champions cup
Haitian clubs Victory and Baltimore as well as Suriname's Inter Moengotapoe will join George Town SC of the Cayman Islands in the second round of the Caribbean Club Champions Cup.
Inter Moengotapoe won Group 2 with victories over Alpha United and Milerock of Guyana and Hubentut Fortuna of Curacao, while Victory claimed Group 3 with a win over Bayamon FC of Puerto Rico and a draw with Baltimore. Baltimore finished runner-up in Group 3 and advanced as the best second-place team in the first round.
Since Groups 1 and 3 both had a team withdraw, leaving them with three teams each compared to four for Group 2, the results of the last-place team in Group 2 - Milerock - were voided and the standings recalculated. That reduced Alpha United from six points to three in Group 2, same as Elite from Group 1, but one point behind Baltimore, which beat Bayamon and drew with Victory.
Group 1 winner George Town and Baltimore will join previously seeded sides Puerto Rico Islanders, the two-time defending champion, and Caledonia AIA of Trinidad in Group 4 to be contested in the Cayman Islands May 19-26. Trinidad will be the location for matches May 4-11 in Group 5, which consists of Victory, Inter Moengotapoe, W Connection of Trinidad and Antigua Barracuda FC May 4-11.
The top two from each second-round group will advance to a four-team final round, but only the professional clubs: the Puerto Rico Islanders, Caledonia AIA, W Connection and Barracudas will be eligible for the three berths in next season's CONCACAF Champions League per tournament regulations. Central American clubs look to qualify for the 2012/13 Champions League
On Saturday, the Torneo de Verano semifinals will commence in Costa Rica, when Herediano hosts Perez Zeledon. The following day Saprissa will meet visiting Santos. The winner of the summer tournament will qualify for the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. Alajuelense will be the other Costa Rican representative in the tournament after winning the 2011 Invierno title.
FAS and Aguila grabbed key leads in the first legs of the semifinals in the Salvadoran Clausura tournament. FAS defeated Isidro Metapan 2-0, while Aguila routed Luis Angel Firpo 4-0. Metapan will host FAS this Saturday in the second leg and Firpo will travel to meet Aguila the same day. If FAS, Aguila or Firpo win the league title, the champion will qualify to the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League and join Apertura champions Metapan in the tournament. If Metapan repeats as champion, the team with the most points over the two regular seasons will qualify for the Champions League.
Deportivo Marquense and Comunciaciones qualified for the semifinals of the Guatemalan Torneo Clausura this past weekend. Comunicaciones clinched the regular-season title and Marquense assured itself of a second-place finish. The regular season ends this weekend and eight teams are in contention for the final playoff spots. The Guatemalan champion will earn a berth in the next CONCACAF Champions League. Municipal wrapped up Guatemala's other CCL spot by winning the Torneo Apertura in December.
Olimpia and Motagua earned byes to the semifinals of the Torneo Clausura following the 10th round of play in Honduras. Olimpia clinched the regular-season title, while Motagua wrapped up second place. Their opponents in the semifinals will be decided following the quarterfinals' completion, as Marathon meets Vida and Real Espana faces Atletico Choloma. Olimpia has already earned a spot in the upcoming Champions League by winning the Torneo Apertura title. The winner of the current season will also qualify for the Champions League. However, if Olimpia wins, the team with the most points over the two regular seasons will qualify.
Futsal Championship schedule announced
CONCACAF announced the complete schedule for its Futsal Championship, which will be played July 2-8 at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City. Host Guatemala will commence defense of its title in the last game of the first day, when it faces the winner of a two-game playoff between Canada and El Salvador.
Each matchday in the Group Stage will feature four games played in two separate sessions.
To determine the tournament's eighth and final qualifier, Canada and El Salvador will square-off in a two-leg playoff on June 28 and 29, also at the Domo Polideportivo in Guatemala City.
The winner and runner-up from each group will qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup and advance to the CONCACAF semifinals. In that phase, the winner of Group A will play the runner-up from Group B, while the winner of Group B will face the second-place team from Group A.
The semifinals will be played July 6, with the third-place and championship matches taking place two days later.
For the first time, CONCACAF will send four teams to a FIFA Futsal World Cup, which will next be held Nov. 2-18, 2012, in Thailand.
For the complete schedule please click here.
Mexico and Honduras learn Olympic opponents
On Tuesday, CONCACAF under-23 champion Mexico discovered that it will face South Korea, African champion Gabon and Switzerland in Group A of the first round of the men's soccer tournament at the London Olympics. Honduras, the CONCACAF runner-up, will play European U-21 winner Spain, Japan and Morocco in Group D.
The draw was held at London's Wembley Stadium.
The Olympic tournament officially opens on Monday, July 30, when Mexico takes-on South Korea, and Honduras squares-off against Morocco.
Mexico is making its ninth appearance at the Olympics, while its group opponents have varied experience in the competition. South Korea is competing for a seventh-straight time, Gabon will be debuting and Switzerland is making its first appearance since 1928.
Although Honduras is travelling to the Olympics for an impressive third time in four attempts, it was grouped with three teams possessing significant experience in the tournament. Japan is appearing for the fifth-consecutive time, Spain won the 1992 gold and 2000 silver, while this will be a seventh appearance for Morocco (second only to Egypt's 11 for most qualifications by an African side).
U.S. and Canada learn Olympic opponents
Tuesday's Olympic draw at Wembley Stadium also pitted the two-time defending women's Olympic champion United States against France, Colombia and North Korea in Group E, while CONCACAF runner-up Canada will go against reigning World Cup champion Japan, Sweden and South Africa in Group G.
The Olympics officially open on Friday, July 27, but the women's tournament will begin two days earlier with six games, including Japan vs. Canada, and the United States against France.
The Americans will be facing a very common opponent in North Korea, meeting the Asian side for a fifth time in the opening round of a world championship. It will have a rematch with the French, whom the United States defeated in the semifinals of last year's World Cup. The Americans have only played Colombia once, winning 3-0 in last year's Women's World Cup.
Besides facing the reigning World Cup champion Japanese, Canada will play a Sweden team that has qualified for every Olympic women's tournament and has never finished worse than sixth, and debutante South Africa.
Teams prepare for Women's U-17 Championship
With the start of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship a little more than a week away, teams continue to prepare for the event to take place from May 2-12 in Guatemala City.
In a friendly, Trinidad & Tobago defeated Panama 3-2 on Friday in Panama City. Anique Walker, Diarra Simmons and Marlique Assoon scored for the Caribbean side, while Karla Riley scored for Panama with the other tally coming from an own goal.
The teams were to play the previous Wednesday, however, the match was cancelled due to lightning in the 55th minute.
Mexico also opened a camp today in Mexico City with a 1-1 tie against the Mexican U-20 women's team. Luz Duarte scored the goal for the U-17 side. They will meet again on Thursday.
Guatemala wrapped up a four-day camp on Saturday in the nation's capital. Coach Benjamin Monterroso called up a total of 33 players, largely coming from clubs such as Camp Elite, Legendarias, Pares and Quetzaltenango. The highlight of the camp was a 1-0 loss to the Guatemala U-20 Women's team in a match played at the Estadio Cementos Progreso, site of the upcoming U-17 Women's tournament.