The Red Bulls will learn their CONCACAF Champions League fate today when the draw will set the Preliminary Round pairings and allocate the sides for the Group Stage.

Eight teams will be seeded directly into the Group Stage: Toluca and Pumas UNAM from Mexico, the Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo from the United States, Costa Rica’s Saprissa, Marathon of Honduras, Isidro Metapan from El Salvador and either Comunicaciones or Municipal of Guatemala.

The other 16 teams will be entered in the Preliminary Round draw. Teams in Pot A: Cruz Azul and Pachuca from Mexico, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United from the United States, either Vancouver or Toronto from Canada, Olimpia of Honduras, Liberia of Costa Rica and Arabe Unido or the Panamanian Apertura champion, will be drawn against the teams in Pot B: Chalatenango of El Salvador, Real Espana of Honduras, Herediano of Costa Rica, the Puerto Rico Islanders, Trinidadian sides W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh and the No. 2 teams from Panama and Guatemala.

No team will be pitted against another team from the same country, except for potentially the third-placed teams from Honduras and Costa Rica, for the two legs scheduled to be played July 28-30 and August 4-6. Honduras and Costa Rica received a third berth due to the forfeiture of places by Belize and Nicaragua because of inadequate stadia and their third teams will be considered wildcards for the purpose of the draw.

CONCACAF Deputy General Secretary Italo Zanzi will conduct the draw with the assistance of Mary Lynn Blanks at the confederation’s headquarters in New York City. The draw will be recorded at the CONCACAF’s Trump Tower television studio and be available for viewing later Thursday at

After the Preliminary Round is set, a second draw will be conducted to establish the groups, once more using the principle that no two teams from the same country will be placed in the same group with the exception of Costa Rica and Honduras.

The Group Stage will begin the week of September 18 and continue for six rounds, finishing on October 22. Two teams from each group will qualify for the Championship Round, and will learn their path through the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in a subsequent draw to be held later this year.

Three berths remain undecided in the 24-team field: Canada’s lone berth as well as the second berths from Guatemala and Panama. Although Comunicaciones has claimed one of Guatemala’s berths, it still is awaiting to learn if it will be seeded directly into the Group Stage or be forced into the Preliminary Round.

Preliminary Round Seedings

Pot A

Cruz Azul (MEX), Pachuca (MEX), New York Red Bulls (USA), D.C. United (USA), Vancouver Whitecaps or Toronto (CAN), Olimpia (HON), Liberia (CRC), Arabe Unido or Apertura champion (PAN)

Pot B

Arabe Unido or Apertura champion (PAN), Comunicaciones or Jalapa (GUA), Chalatenango (SLV), Real Espana (HON), Herediano (CRC), W Connection (TRI), Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), San Juan Jabloteh (TRI)

Group Stage Seedings

Toluca (MEX), Pumas UNAM (MEX) Columbus Crew (USA), Houston Dynamo (USA), Saprissa (CRC), Marathon (HON), Comunicaciones or Municipal (GUA), Metapan (SLV)




  1. Alle Says:

    I just hope we can get a good group and, at the same time, perform well in that group. If we play the way we’ve been doing in the MLS, there’s no second guessing as to what the scores will be against these other sides.

  2. Matt Says:

    Prediction – we get San Juan Jablome.

  3. DS Says:

    Alle, this draw is for a play in match, not the group stage. We have to beat this team to get into the group stage

  4. lou Says:

    I don’t praticularly care how we do in the tournament. I’ll be happy if the extremely unlikely occurs and we somehow won, but i’d rather experience domestic success first.

  5. Mentze Says:

    Well since we’ve dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole domestically and unlike leagues abroad don’t have to worry about something like a relegation battle, I say we put all our focus on this competition.

    We weren’t very good last season and look where it got us. If you get rolling at the right time you never know…

    And Alle, we have to win a preliminary round first before we even get into Group Stage. Hopefully we can draw an island nation club team from a random place like T&T and maybe we’ll have a chance at advancing and the season ticket holders can get their money’s worth for one time this season…

  6. Mentze Says:

    Red Bull Reader: What time is the draw today? When will we know who we play in the pre lims?

  7. Red Bulls Reader Says:

    The draw is late morning and the announcement is around 3 or 3:30.

  8. C. Says:

    How did Houston qualify? They didn’t win anything last year.

  9. Mentze Says:

    Awesome thanks for the quick response!

    Do you know if the Champions League Home Games at Giants Stadium would be covered in the season ticket packs or would it cost us season tix holders additional to go?

    Thanks again keep up the good work!

  10. Red Bulls Reader Says:

    To the best of our knowledge, the home leg will be played at Giants Stadium, and it will be covered in the season ticket packs. Official confirmation on that should be released soon after the pairings release is, um, released.

  11. Mentze Says:

    @ C.

    There are 4 ways to qualify for CCL.

    Win the MLS Cup (Columbus Crew) STRAIGHT TO GROUP STAGE
    Be the Runner-Up in MLS Cup (Red Bull New York) PLAY-IN STAGE
    Win the US Open Cup (DC United) PLAY-IN STAGE
    Win the Supporter’s Shield

    Since Columbus won the Championship and the Supporter’s Shield (Best Regular Season record in MLS aka Most Point), then the next best team takes this spot, aka Houston Dynamo.

    It’s dumb, but that’s the way it works…

  12. Mentze Says:

    Very eloquently put RBR. Gracias!

  13. lou Says:

    “Well since we’ve dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole domestically and unlike leagues abroad don’t have to worry about something like a relegation battle, I say we put all our focus on this competition.
    We weren’t very good last season and look where it got us. If you get rolling at the right time you never know…”

    You kinda killed your arguement there a little bit. I mean your right that we are in a hole domestically and that this competition provides us with a clean sheet and so you say we should focus on the concacaf tournament, but than you pointed out that we weren’t very good last year and we still got somewhere in the MLS. You also pointed out that if we get rolling at the right time that we could win something, and i assume you’re referring to the concacaf tournament but the same ideal can apply to the MLS.

    We aren;t very good which is nothing new for this team, but it is similar to last year when we did go almost all the way. That’s why i believe that this tournament shouldn’t be our priority rite now. If we hope to have a good season next year than we have to prepare for it and not just throw this season out the window. If we make this internationial tournament our top priority than we very well could be throwing the season out the window. We need to start winning is a new coach, a goalie, a defender, a forward (maybe an academy team kid), and a winger. All these positions can be filled relatively quickly since the transfer window is fast approaching.

    We are a MLS team first and a concacaf team second, so until that day comes were we are statistically eliminated from a playoff spot, we must continue to fight like we are right in the thick of the east because again like you pointed out, it only takes a few good games to get rolling.

  14. Karbaz Says:

    Can we still squeeze into the playoffs this year like we did last year? I seriously doubt it, i hope we can but there is zero indication that we can mount a stirring comeback so i agree with mentze, are focus should be the Champions league, not that I think we could do much in the tournament.

  15. lou Says:

    The way our current team is constructed, we certainly won’t be able to get into the playoffs. However like i said before, all we need to do is just hold a little until the transfer window opens and than it’s out with the old and in with the new. Once that’s done, who knows, we might be good enough to start winning. We can’t be any worse so it can only help. Like I said before, Mentz believes that we can get on a role and than win the tournament, but same principle can apply to the mls season. If we decide we aren’t going to get into the playoffs already, than what kind of domestic season does that leave us with becasue that certainly is a bleak prediction.

  16. Mentz Says:

    Here’s the difference between last year and this year. Last year we won games at home and lost on the road. This year we lose a both locales…

    My point is that every MLS season is the same for the Red Bulls in that we play the league campaign, participate in the cup, and maybe play a cool friendly against one of the “big boys”.

    This year, despite our struggles (which is def an understatement), we have a chance to do something no American team has ever done. Even though I really don’t believe we have a good chance of winning, the fact is we are in the tournament and something international / different is an experience that I hope we capitalize on.

    IDK, the idea of playing a Manchester United or Real Madrid in a competition (Club World Cup) that means something gets me excited and giddy for a team that hasn’t given their fans reason to be either this season…

  17. lou Says:

    I get were you’re coming from mentz, but still the red bulls have just as much of a chance of remodling the team and than catching fire in the concacaf tournament as they do of catching fire and going all the way in the MLS. Perhaps they have a better chance of the later because no MLS team has ever won the concacaf tournament.
    And considering how important next year will be for the red bulls (essenitally a make or break season), i think it would be pretty foolish to forget about our current MLS campaign and make the concacaf tournament our priority like you suggest.

  18. Mentz Says:

    Agreed Lou. I guess I just honestly look at it as a chance to start fresh. No matter how well or poor a team is playing, it can take this contest a game at a time and who knows?

    When are we finally going to know who we’re playing?!

  19. Tim F. Says:

    Any update on who the Red Bulls will play and the day the game will be played at Giants Stadium?

  20. Red Bulls Reader Says:

    We hope to be able to post the opponent in about an hour. We hope. We also hear that we will likely be at home for the second leg, but we can’t confirm that at this time. That would be the Aug. 4-6 block of dates.

  21. Tim F. Says:

    Thanks for the update. Please post the exact date of the home match as soon as it is known.

  22. Matt Says:

    In the immortal words of Judge Smails…”Well?… We’re waiting!”

  23. Mentz Says:

    Wait, so you know but can’t tell us huh? Very dramatic…

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