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MLS teams get 2019 Concacaf Champions League assignments

Giovinco winning 2018 CCL Golden Ball trophy
Apr 25, 2018; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; Scotiabank representative Ivan Lomeli (right) presents Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) with the Golden Ball trophy following the game against the Chivas Guadalajara at Akron Stadium. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Monday night’s draw for the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League determined where the top 16 teams will slot in to the new head-to-head tournament format. The draw, which took place at Univision Deportes Studios in Miami, allowed four MLS teams to definitively know where their roads to a possible trophy will start, with a fifth to be settled this weekend.

Though the final lineup won’t be fully confirmed until Saturday night’s MLS Cup — the Dominican Republic’s Atletico Pantoja is waiting to find out whether it will face the Portland Timbers or New York Red Bulls — four teams learned their assignments, with Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC on a potential collision course to the quarterfinals. See the full schedule and matchups below.

Sporting KC will host Liga MX side Deportivo Toluca in the first leg of a home-and-away series starting in late February. Toronto FC will begin its journey in an away match versus Panama’s Club Atletico Independiente. 

Atlanta United will start with a trip to Costa Rica’s Herediano, which should provide an easy path to the next round where the Five Stripes would face the winner of the series between Liga MX’s Monterrey and El Salvador top-flight team Alianza FC. 

The Houston Dynamo will also start on the road, traveling to Guatemala to face CD Guastatoya in the first leg of its matchup. Should the Dynamo advance, they’ll face a formidable quarterfinal opponent depending on who survives the matchup between Mexican powerhouse Tigres and Costa Rica standouts Deportivo Saprissa. 

Should the Timbers win the MLS Cup on Saturday, they’ll advance to the CCL as well. But if Atlanta United wins, the New York Red Bulls will play in CCL instead thanks to their combined 2017 and 2018 points total in MLS play. Should the MLS team in that slot advance past the Round of 16, they’ll face the winner of the series between Honduras’s Marathon and Mexico’s Santos Laguna. 

The Concacaf Champions League trophy is still an elusive prize for MLS teams; Toronto FC came tantalizingly close in 2018, but was edged in penalty kicks by CD Guadalajara after TFC forced the aggregate draw in its second leg on the road. 

Round of 16 pairings for the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League: 

Matchup #1: Santos Laguna (MEX) vs CD Marathon (HON)
Matchup #2: Portland Timbers or New York Red Bulls (USA) vs Club Atletico Pantoja (DOM)
Matchup #3: Tigres UANL (MEX) vs Deportivo Saprissa (CRC)
Matchup #4: Houston Dynamo (USA) vs CD Guastatoya (GUA)
Matchup #5: Toluca FC (MEX) vs Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Matchup #6: Toronto FC (CAN) vs Club Atletico Independiente (PAN)
Matchup #7: Atlanta United (USA) vs CS Herediano (CRC)
Matchup #8: CF Monterrey (MEX) vs Alianza FC (SLV)

2019 Concacaf Champions League Schedule Windows:

FEBRUARY
19-21: Round of 16 – 1st Leg
26-28: Round of 16 – 2nd Leg

MARCH
5-7: Quarterfinals – 1st Leg
12-14: Quarterfinals – 2nd Leg

APRIL – MAY 
2-4: Semifinals – 1st Leg  
9-11: Semifinals – 2nd Leg 
23-25: Final – 1st Leg 
30–2: Final – 2nd Leg

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