VANCOUVER, BC – The dates for the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals were confirmed on Friday as Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to face reigning Mexican champions Tigres UANL.
The first leg of the two-match aggregate semifinal series will kick off at 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 14 at the 41,615-seat Estadio Universitario in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo Léon, Mexico. The second leg will be played at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 5 at BC Place.
The other semifinal series sees fellow MLS club FC Dallas face Liga MX side CF Pachuca. The first leg of that match-up will kick off at 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 15 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The second leg follows on Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. PT, to be played at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca, Mexico.
The home-and-away final series between the two semifinal winners will be disputed during the last two weeks of April.
Whitecaps FC are just the seventh MLS team ever to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. The ‘Caps earned their spot in the semifinals after an exciting 2-0 (3-1 aggregate) victory over New York Red Bulls in the quarterfinal second leg at BC Place on Thursday night. Vancouver are the number one seed in the tournament after sweeping through the group stage, winning all four of their matches by a combined score of 10-2. This is the first time in club history that Whitecaps FC have made it to the Champions League semifinals. An MLS team has never won the CONCACAF Champions League.
Tigres, who recently won their fifth Liga MX title in the 2016 Apertura, qualified for the Champions League semifinals after a 4-1 aggregate series victory over fellow Liga MX side Pumas UNAM. Among their star players are French national team striker André-Pierre Gignac and Chilean national team striker Eduardo Vargas.
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 the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship.
The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League earns a spot in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup – an annual seven-team tournament featuring the top teams from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America. Real Madrid are the reigning 2016 FIFA Club World Cup champions. This year’s Club World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates.