Monterrey and Herediano open CCL with victories
Two-time defending champion Monterrey (Mexico) kicked-off its title defense Tuesday with a 5-0 home win over Panama's Chorrillo. José María Basanta (7') opened the scoring, but Angel Reyna was the standout, striking for three goals (45', 78', 88'). Second-half substitute Dario Carreno also tallied for Los Rayados (83').
In the evening's second match, host Herediano (Costa Rica) defeated 2010-11 runner-up Real Salt Lake 1-0 on a 13th minute goal by Elias Aguilar at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.
On Wednesday, Aguila (El Salvador) travels north to make its tournament debut against Toronto FC (Canada), Tigres UANL (Mexico) hosts Real Esteli (Nicaragua) and Isidro Metapan (El Salvador) will entertain the Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico) in a rematch of last year's Preliminary Round pairing.
The first week of CCL action concludes with a Thursday triple-header: DIRECTV W Connection (Trinidad & Tobago) v Xelaju (Guatemala); Olimpia (Honduras) v FAS (El Salvador) in San Pedro Sula; and the Seattle Sounders (USA) v Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago).
After a lengthy break, the second week of CCL play will take place August 21-23.
For the complete tournament schedule, click here. CONCACAF, FOX ink CCL TV deal
CONCACAF announced Wednesday that it has signed a five-year agreement with Fox International Channels Latin America to broadcast the CONCACAF Champions League.
The deal starts with the 2012-13 championship commencing on July 31 and gives FOX Sports exclusive rights in Latin America, including both Pay TV and the digital platforms throughout the region. Additionally, in Mexico and South America, FOX Sports will have total exclusivity as the rights in these territories also include Free TV.
"Our agreement with Fox International Channels Latin America puts the CONCACAF Champions League in perfect position to grow and fans throughout the region will be able to enjoy the competition like never before,"said CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb."With Fox's many broadcast platforms and technologies, the Champions League will be presented in ways the fans want and expect."
FOX Sports will broadcast more than 40 games live and delayed through its wide multimedia platform that consists of FOX Sports, FOX Sports+, their HD versions and FoxSportsla.com. It will also provide enhanced coverage on its shows such as Central FOX and La Última Palabra (The Last Word), and through a weekly CONCACAF Champions League highlight show.
Honduras stuns Spain; Mexico grabs first win against Gabon
Honduras made international headlines Sunday, eliminating favorites Spain 1-0 in the first round of the Men's Olympic tournament in Newcastle, England. Jerry Bengtson scored the match's only goal in the 7th minute.
On Thursday, the Catrachos opened with a 2-2 draw against Morocco and, with four points in Group D, will look to qualify for the quarterfinals Wednesday against first-place Japan.
Mexico can qualify for the next round with a tie against Switzerland in Cardiff, Wales, on Wednesday in its last Group B game.
The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying champion reached four points with a 2-0 victory over Gabon on Sunday (Giovani Dos Santos scored both goals) after playing South Korea to scoreless draw in its opener on Thursday.
U.S. and Canada through to Quarterfinals
The United States and Canada both qualified for the quarterfinals of the Women's Olympic tournament on Tuesday. The Americans finished with a perfect 3-0-0 record in Group G after a 1-0 win over Korea DPR on Tuesday thanks to a goal by Abby Wambach (25').
On Saturday, the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying champion defeated Colombia 3-0 on goals from Megan Rapinoe (33'), Wambach (74') and Carli Lloyd (77'). Last Wednesday the Americans opened up with a 4-2 win over France. After falling behind 2-0, the Stars and Stripes rallied with goals from Wambach (19'), Alex Morgan (32', 66') and Carli Lloyd (56').
On Tuesday, Canada advanced to the round of 16 with a two-goal comeback to tie Sweden 2-2 and finish as one of the tournament's top two third-place teams. Melissa Tancredi played hero for the Canadians scoring goals in the 43rd and 84th minutes.
The Maple Leafs opened the tournament Wednesday with a 2-1 loss to world champion Japan; Tancredi scored the lone goal (55'). Three days later, the North Americans grabbed their first three points with a 3-0 win over South Africa. Tancredi (7') and Christine Sinclair bagged the goals (58', 86').
Panama makes U-20 finals with El Salvador
Jairo Jimenez scored a 77th-minute winner and 10-man Panama beat Guatemala 1-0 on Sunday to qualify, along with El Salvador, for the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.
All three teams finished with three points and an identical zero goal difference after three matches, but Friday's 4-3 victory by El Salvador over Panama was the difference, as both qualified for the CONCACAF finals on goals scored.
Panama and El Salvador join Costa Rica and Nicaragua (which claimed their places eight days earlier), as well as automatic North American qualifiers Canada and the United States, plus host Mexico, in the 12-team CONCACAF tournament in Puebla, February 18-March 2. Haiti, Puerto Rico move on in U-20s
Haiti and Puerto Rico both advanced to the final round of Caribbean qualifying for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, settling for a 0-0 draw against each other Sunday in their first round Group 3 finale.
Both teams finished with seven points. Haiti ended atop the group with a better goal difference (+5 to +4) after both teams earlier in the week beat Bermuda (3rd place) and Barbados (4th place).
Haiti and Puerto Rico are the first two teams to reach the final round of Caribbean qualifying, which originally was to consist of six teams. The Caribbean Football Union announced, though, that it was expanding the final round to eight teams: the four first-round group winners, three second-place teams and final-round host Jamaica.
The final round (to be played November 3-11) will determine the Caribbean's five qualifiers for the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 finals. Mexico wins Milk Cup title; U.S. fourth
On Thursday, in Northern Ireland, Mexico won its second-ever Milk Cup with a 3-0 victory over Denmark in the final.
Jesus Corona, who was named Player of the Tournament, opened the scoring after 55 minutes, while Julio Gomez (74') and Arturo Gonzalez (78') also got on the scoresheet.
The United States finished fourth after a 4-3 loss to Chile on Thursday. The Stars and Stripes took a 2-1 lead on goals from Walker Zimmerman (1') and Benji Joya (65'), but Chile answered with three of their own during a four-minute stretch in the second half. Victor Pineda (82') also scored for the Americans.
Trinidad qualifies for U-17 Championship
On Saturday, Brendon Creed scored his third goal in three games, lifting Trinidad & Tobago to a 2-0 victory over Guyana and a place in the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.
Although originally announced that the Caribbean would play a six-team final round of qualifying to determine its five berths, the Caribbean Football Union late Saturday decided that the five first-round group winners would qualify for the CONCACAF finals -- foregoing the need for second round.
Trinidad finished atop first-round Group 4 with nine points, three better than Suriname, to join Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti which already have won their groups and secured berths in the 12-team CONCACAF championship April 6-19 in Panama. Only the Group 5 winner was undecided.
Group 5, which was reduced to three teams when Grenada withdrew, was to begin Sunday with St. Kitts & Nevis facing the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Referee and Fitness instructor course taking place in Jamaica
The FIFA Futuro III Referee Instructor course kicked-off yesterday in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with 38 participants (24 technical instructors and 14 fitness instructors) from a total of nine countries.
Those leading the course include Fernando Tresaco, Sr., Manager of the FIFA Referee Development Department; Hector Vergara, former FIFA World Cup Assistant Referee; Stanley Darville, instructor; Peter Prendergast, former World Cup referee and current FIFA instructor; and Brian Hall, former World Cup referee and current CONCACAF Director of Referee Administration.
The fitness portion of the course will be led by Costa Rica's Allan Morgan Brown.