Real Espana’s strong SCL campaign yields 2023 SCCL berth
MIAMI, Florida – Honduran club Real Espana have qualified for the 2023 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by virtue of securing at least a top six finish in this year’s Scotiabank Concacaf League.
On Thursday, Real Espana defeated Costa Rican club Herediano 3-1 in the first leg of their quarterfinal series to give themselves nine points from their last three SCL matches.
The club defeated Costa Rican side Cartagines 2-0 in both legs of the Round of 16 before winning on Thursday.
Even if the Honduran club fails to advance to the semifinals next week, they have accrued enough points in the Round of 16 and quarterfinal stages to finish in the top six of 2022 SCL quarterfinalists.
It will be Real Espana’s fourth participation in the SCCL, the last coming in 2014-15 when current Herediano Head Coach Hernan Medford guided the club to a second-place finish in the group stage.
Thus far, eight clubs in total have qualified for next year’s tournament.
Club Leon are back in the SCCL for a fourth straight year and fifth overall after finishing as runners-up in the 2021 Liga MX Apertura. Club Leon achieved their best SCCL finish in 2021 when they reached the quarterfinals.
The Guadalajara-based club will make their Concacaf debut after winning the 2021 Liga MX Apertura. Atlas are the 15th different Mexican club to have qualified for the SCCL.
Five-time Concacaf champions and two-time SCCL winners Pachuca are back in the tournament for the first time since their title-winning run in 2016-16. The Tuzos reached the 2023 edition by virtue of being a finalist in the 2022 Liga MX Clausura.
The 2020 SCCL champions are back for a seventh time in the SCCL as the non-finalist of the 2022 Liga MX Clausura with the most accumulated points during the Clausura season.
Orlando City SC
The 2023 SCCL will be Orlando City’s first appearance in the SCCL after topping Sacramento Republic FC in the U.S. Open Cup Final. Orlando City will be the 19th different team from the U.S. to participate in the SCCL. The Florida franchise will be led by Head Coach Oscar Pareja, who guided FC Dallas to the 2016-17 SCCL semifinals.
The 2023 SCCL will mark Violette’s first ever adventure in the SCCL after topping Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic to claim the 2022 FCCCC. A winner of the 1984 Concacaf Champions Cup, Violette are the sixth different Haitian side to have qualified during the SCCL era.
Vancouver qualified for their third SCCL after defeating Toronto FC 5-3 in a penalty shootout in the 2022 Canadian Championship Final following a 1-1 draw. The Whitecaps’ best finish in the SCCL came in the 2016-17 tournament when they reached the semifinals.
Real Espana are back in the SCCL for the first time since the 2014-15 edition after securing a top six finish in the 2022 SCL. This will mark Real Espana’s fourth appearance in the SCCL. Among Real Espana’s SCCL highlights are a victory over Liga MX side Pachuca in the 2014-15 group stage.