The 2017 CONCACAF Champions League final between Mexico’s Club Pachuca and Tigres UANL will be played on April 18 and 26 in a home-and-away format but why should soccer fans care about the final? After all this is not the real Champions League final.
After earning a 1-1 draw in the first leg on the road, Pachuca head into the second leg with a slight advantage. Los Tuzos have been stingy at Estadio Hidalgo conceding only 1 goal this year. And they have not lost an official game on home ground in over a year. They are along with Tigres the best 2 defending teams in Liga MX.
Both clubs have made winning the CCL a priority. Puchuca’s coach, Diego Alonso, has rotated his starting XI in league play to rest players and it has them close to missing out on the 2017 Clausura playoffs. Tigres have invested heavily in building the team but have lost the last 2 international finals.
CONCACAF Champions League to Stream on Twitter
CONCACAF and Twitter announced earlier this week a partnership to live stream the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on April 26. The coverage will include a 30 minute pre-game show followed by the match. It is available in English via @CONCACAF on Twitter and connected devices in the United States and Canada.
Why should I care about the CONCACAF Champions League?
Admittedly this is not the UEFA Champions League (who they ‘borrowed’ the name from) but it is of huge importance in the CONCACAF region with top teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The winner qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup and it doesn’t hurt that starting this year the winner pockets $500,000 in prize money. The other finalist and 2 other semifinalist get a part of the remaining $700,000 in prize money. The total money invested by CONCACAF for prize money, travel, etc was $5.5 million. The tournament is a big deal in Mexico and for La Liga teams but is growing in importance of MLS brass. Liga MX teams have won every tournament in the Champions League era which started in 2008/09.
Why don’t MLS teams win the CONCACAF Champions League?
MLS teams have a hard history in the tournament. The league has only sent a team to the final on 2 occasions with Real Salt Lake representing the league in 2010/11 and the Montreal Impact in 2014/15. The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders both lost in the semifinal in 2012/13 and the Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas this year. So the league is showing better more recently. The reasons are many why MLS teams have not done better but the 2 major factors are club rosters make it difficult to compete in the domestic leagues and other cups (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, etc) and MLS spring to winter schedule does them no favors with teams just returning for a new season when the critical knockout rounds are played.
What is the low down on the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League final?
CF Pachuca and Tigres UANL advanced to the final after hard fought wins over FC Dallas and the Whitecaps, respectively. Pachuca will feel the more fortunate of the 2 sides. They were out played for long stretches of both legs and required a goal 2 minutes into injury time to seal the win over FC Dallas. But Pachuca will have no problem forgetting those performances as they work to win their first CONCACAF Champions League title since 2009/10. Tigres is the current champions of Liga MX and are trying to erase bad memories. They lost in last year’s CONCACAF Champions League to Club America.
Are there any Americans Abroad in the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League final?
Despite it being an all Mexican affair, the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League final could have a U.S. factor. Americans Abroad Omar Gonzalez and Jose Francisco Torres play for Pachuca and Tigres, respectively. Tigres have 4 other players from the U.S. that are out on loan.
What is the CONCACAF Champions League?
The CONCACAF Champions League was started in 2008/09 and replaced the Champions Cup. The tournament runs over a complete ‘European’ soccer season with a group stage from August to October and knockout phase from March through May. The group stage consists of 24 teams divided into 8 groups of 3 teams with the winner advancing from each group to the knockout phase. These teams advance to the quarterfinals with all knockout rounds being played in a home and away format. The format will change staring with the 2017/18 season with the group stage being eliminated and moving to single knockout phase to run from February to May.
Why is it called the ‘Scotiabank’ CONCACAF Champions League?
Scotiabank is the current title sponsor of the tournament. That means they pay more to have their name at the top of the marquee. The multi-year agreement was signed in 2014/15 and includes sponsorships of other CONCACAF events.
Where to find the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League final on TV in the U.S.?
FOX Sports has rights to the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League in the U.S. The match information is below and more can be found on the FOX Sports Listings.
2016-17 SCOTIABANK CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – FINALS
*ET (local time)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – 1st Leg Final
22:00 (21:00) Tigres UANL (MEX) v CF Pachuca (MEX) – Estadio Universitario, Monterrey, Mexico
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – 2nd Leg Final
22:00 (21:00) CF Pachuca (MEX) v Tigres UANL (MEX) – Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca, Mexico