VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will face Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls in the quarterfinals of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League early next year.
The matchups were confirmed Thursday night with the group stage coming to an end. Whitecaps FC enter the knockout stages as the top seed after finishing group play with a perfect 4W-0L-0D record and a plus eight goal differential. New York, who posted a 2W-0L-2D record, advance as the eighth seed.
The two-leg quarterfinals will take place between February 21 and March 2, 2017, ahead of the MLS regular season, with Whitecaps FC hosting the second leg at BC Place between February 28 and March 2. Exact dates and times will be announced in the near future.
This is the first time both Whitecaps FC and New York Red Bulls have reached the knockout stage of the Champions League. Whitecaps FC hold the advantage over New York in MLS play, posting a 3W-1L-3D record in seven all-time meetings.
The Red Bulls, whose roster features former English Premier League striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and U.S. national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan, enter the final weekend of the 2016 MLS regular season as the top team in the Eastern Conference.
CONCACAF Champions League Rankings
1. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Canada) — 12 pts. / +8 goals
2. Árabe Unido (Panama) — 12 pts. / +7 goals
3. CF Pachuca (Mexico) — 10 pts. / +15 goals
4. Pumas UNAM (Mexico) — 9 pts. / +10 goals
5. Tigres UANL (Mexico) — 9 pts. / +6 goals
6. Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) — 8 pts. / +8 goals
7. FC Dallas (USA) — 8 pts. / +4 goals
8. New York Red Bulls (USA) — 8 pts. / +4 goals
Should they advance, the ‘Caps would face Mexican side Pumas UNAM or Tigres UANL in the two-leg semifinals between March 14 and April 5, 2017. The two-leg final will then take place between April 19 and April 26, 2017.
An MLS team has never won the CONCACAF Champions League.
The CONCACAF Champions League is a 24-team competition between the top clubs from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Whitecaps FC earned Canada’s lone entry in the tournament by winning the Voyageurs Cup in last year’s Amway Canadian Championship.
The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League will earn $500,000, with the runner-up earning $300,000 and the other two semifinalists taking home $200,000 each, in addition to qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup – an annual seven-team tournament featuring the top teams from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Oceana and South America.