WASHINGTON, June 4, 2012 – Five Major League Soccer teams discovered who they will play in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) on Tuesday. The Los Angeles Galaxy got an easy draw, but Toronto FC found itself in the toughest group having to play Mexican club Santos Laguna. The Galaxy, Houston, Real Salt Lake and Seattle, all escaped having to play Mexican teams in the opening round.
Tuesday’s draw conducted by CONCACAF Acting General Secretary Ted Howard at the New York headquarters set the match-ups for the tournament, which changed its format by eliminating the Preliminary Round and establishing an initial round of eight, three-team groups.
Only the group winners will advance to the knockout round.
Unlike previous years where a second draw was conducted to set the pairings for the Championship round, the quarterfinals will match the team with the best record against the qualifier with the worst record. The second-best team will face the seventh-best, third against sixth and fourth against fifth.
The top four teams will play the second leg at home.
In the semifinals, the winner of 1-vs-8 will face the winner of 4-vs-5 (with the 1-vs-8 winner hosting the second leg), and likewise 3-vs-6 will play 4-vs-5 (with the survivor of 3-vs-6 hosting the second leg). In the finals, the team that prevails out of the upper bracket of 1-vs-8 and 4-vs-5 will host the second leg.
The Group Stage of the Champions League will begin July 31 and conclude October 25, with the quarterfinals set to begin March 5.
Santos Laguna (MEX)
Toronto FC (CAN)
Real Salt Lake (USA)
Tauro FC (PAN)
Houston Dynamo (USA)
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