D.C. United received a favorable group draw for a second consecutive year as they learned their Group H opponents tonight during the Concacaf Champions League Draw in Miami, Florida.
United will face Montego Bay of Jamiaca and Arabe Unido of Panama and will begin play in August. United will face both teams home and away and will wrap up group play in October. United cruised to an unblemished 4-0 mark last October when they downed FC Tauro of Panama and Waterhouse of Jamaica.
Just like last year, United avoided tough teams from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the group play. U.S. and Mexican as the highest seeds can not face each other in group play. Other MLS teams in the draw weren’t so lucky. Seattle Sounders drew their Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps and the always difficult Olimpia of Honduras in Group F.
Real Salt Lake drew Municipal (Guatemala) and CCL newbies Santa Tecla (El Salvador) into a very tight Group G
The Los Angeles Galaxy seem to have drawn just as favorable a group as United where they will face Comunicaciones (Guatemala) and debutants Central (Trinidad & Tobago) in Group D action.
Each group winner will advance to the quarterfinal stage set to take place in February of 2016. Teams will be seeded based on their records in group play in the quarterfinals. D.C. United were the top seed heading into this past February’s quarterfinal stage by virtue of being the only team to take maximum points only to see them get drawn with the Costa Rican giants Alajuelense. United got waxed 5-2 in Alajuela in the first leg before returning home and winning 2-1 but falling 6-4 on aggregate goals.
D.C. United (1998) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (2000) are the only MLS teams to win a regional title, but that was before the creation of group play in the renamed Concacaf Champions League (CCL). The only MLS teams to make it to the finals of the rebranded CCL are Real Salt Lake and the Montreal Impact in this years competition that ended in April.