What is the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League?
The SCCL is a tournament that decides the best club team in North America. We’re not talking national teams like the United States or Mexico, but rather club teams like the Sounders from all over the region. A total of 16 teams compete, including four from the U.S. and four from Mexico. Scotiabank jumped on as a corporate sponsor in December 2014, which is where the SCCL abbreviation comes from.
What’s at stake?
The world. More accurately, the FIFA Club World Cup, which decides the best club team on the planet. The Sounders have a few rounds to go if they want to qualify for that tournament – they’re in the Round of 16 now, which means they’d have to knock off four opponents to win the SCCL title for the chance to play against the best club team from Europe, South America, etc. For a team with aspirations of enjoying success and exposure on a global scale, reaching the FIFA Club World Cup would be a tremendous step.
Is this different from SCCL Tournaments in the past?
It is. This year marks the 53rd edition of the CONCACAF regional tournament, but there have been several iterations. There is no Group Stage this year, which cuts the number of clubs from 24 to 16 and total matches from 62 to 30. In recent years, the Sounders would compete in one of eight, three-team groups. Now it just goes straight to a 16-team draw, which was held last December.
Why are the Sounders playing in this tournament?
The Sounders qualified for the 2018 edition of the tournament by winning the MLS Cup in 2016.
Have the Sounders ever played in this tournament before?
Yep. This is the fifth time the Sounders have played in the SCCL. In three of those years, the Rave Green reached the quarterfinals (2011, 2012, 2016). They lost in the quarterfinals in 2011 to Mexican club Santos Laguna, but then reached the semifinals the next year after beating Mexican club Tigres in the quarterfinals, the first time an MLS team beat a Mexican team in the knockout round. In 2016, the Sounders fell to Club America in the quarterfinals.
Who is Santa Tecla FC?
In December’s draw, the Sounders were paired with Santa Tecla FC for the opening round of the tournament. The El Salvador club qualified for SCCL after winning the Salvadoran Primera División 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura championships.
How does the series against Santa Tecla FC work?
It’s a two-game, aggregate-goal series (the team with the most goals over the two legs moves on). Away goals count as the tiebreaker in this one, which basically means if there’s a tie in the aggregate goals after the two legs, the team with more goals scored away from home moves on. If they’re all even after two legs, the series is decided by penalty kicks.
How can I attend the second leg against Santa Tecla FC?
The Sounders host Santa Tecla FC at CenturyLink Field on March 1 at 7:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are included in Season Ticket Membership packages. Single match tickets are also available. Should the club advance to the quarterfinals, the home match scheduled for March 7 or 8 at CenturyLink Field would serve as the 19th match in season ticket packages.