Monday, May 30, 2016

Sporting Drawn into Group C for Champions League

Tonight CONCACAF held their draw for the 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting Kansas City learned their opponents in this year's competition, they'll face one familiar foe and one brand new opponent. Sporting Kansas City were drawn into Group C for the tournament and will face off against Trinidad and Tobago side Central FC and fellow MLS side, Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The Trinidad side qualified for this year's tournament by winning the 2016 CFU Club Championship held from February through May of this year. Central FC defeated fellow Trinidadian side, W Connection in the finals to win the tournament. This will be the first time that Kansas City has played a team from the Caribbean since the Wizards took on the same W Connection back in 2002 when the competition was the CONCACAF Champions Cup. The Wizards won their series with W Connection 3-0 on aggregate in route to their semifinal appearance that season.

The other opponent will be a very familiar one for Kansas City, as they have already played the Whitecaps two times this season and will play them a third in late August, so Kansas City will have at least five games against the Canadian champions by the time the season is done. The Whitecaps qualified for this year's tournament by winning last year's Canadian Championship beating the Montreal Impact in the final. These games will be the first time that Kansas City and Vancouver will meet outside of MLS league games. So far Kansas City has lost just once to the Whitecaps and hold a 5-1-3 record all time against them.

There are certainly some easier draws that Kansas City could have gotten, Vancouver will be very tough, depending on how they play the tournament, but Kansas City should be able to get through if they can improve their form (and potentially add some pieces over the summer before the CCL kicks off). While they'll have a long trip to Trinidad they do avoid most of the more hostile environments that they could have been drawn with.

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