The draw for the group stage of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League was held Monday night at the New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach, Florida, with five Major League Soccer sides learning their group stage fate.
The five teams representing MLS in this year’s edition of the Champions League are: LA Galaxy, 2014 MLS Cup winners; Seattle Sounders, 2014 Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup winners; D.C. United, 2014 Eastern Conference first-place finishers; Real Salt Lake, next-highest regular-season finishers; and Vancouver Whitecaps, 2014 best-finishing Canadian team.
Here’s how the eight groups were drawn. Dates for the group stage will be announced at a later date.
Group A: Santos Laguna (Mexico), Saprissa (Costa Rica), W Connection FC (Trinidad & Tobago)
Group B: Tigres (Mexico), CS Herediano (Costa Rica), AD Isidro Metapan (El Salvador)
Group C: Queretaro (Mexico), San Francisco FC (Panama), Verdes FC (Belize)
Group D: LA Galaxy, Communicaciones FC (Guatemala), Central FC (Trinidad & Tobago)
Group E: Club America (Mexico), CD Walter Ferretti (Nicaragua), CD Motagua (Honduras)
Group F: Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, CD Olimpia (Honduras)
Group G: Real Salt Lake, CSD Municipal (Guatemala), Santa Tecla FC (El Salvador)
Group H: D.C. United, Arabe Unido (Panama), Montego Bay United FC (Jamaica)
Easily the most favorable set of draws for the collective of MLS teams in recent memory. If each MLS team takes the group stage seriously (i.e. fields halfway decent lineups*), then four of the five teams — shame about Seattle and Vancouver ending up in the same group, isn’t it? Just kidding, it’s the Cascadia Cup in Champions League! — should occupy half of the knockout round places.
*I’m looking at you, Bruce Arena and Ben Olsen.