The Columbus Crew will discover its first opponent of 2021 on Wednesday night. The 2021 CONCACAF Champions League officially begins on Wednesday evening with the Round of 16 draw. The Black & Gold feature in this year’s competition for the first time in a decade as the 2020 MLS Cup champions. The team’s 3-0 win against the Seattle Sounders last December in Columbus booked a spot in this season’s Champions League. With recent news the MLS regular season will begin on April 17, the first two matches for the Crew in 2021 will be in the CCL.
This draw is slightly different to the traditional soccer tournament draw. With no group stage, the 16 teams in the competition will be paired for its Round of 16 encounters. Whoever the Crew draws from Pot 2 in the first round will feature in a home and away series. The first leg is set to take place between April 6-8 on the road so Columbus will travel to either Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras or Nicaragua. The second leg will be played at historic Crew Stadium the following week, between April 13-15.
Pot 2: Saprissa (CRC), Alajuelense (CRC), Atletico Pantoja (DOM), Arcahaie (HAI), Marathon (HON), CD Olimpia (HON), Club Leon (MEX), Real Esteli (NCA)
The draw begins with Pot 1. A team will be drawn from Pot 1 followed by one of the eight bracket positions (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8). This procedure continues until all eight teams from Pot 1 are drawn and put into a bracket position.
Teams from Pot 2 will then be drawn and follow the same procedure with each team being drawn followed by a bracket position (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8). The teams from Pot 1 and 2 drawn with the adjacent bracket position numbers will matchup in the Champions League Round of 16. Pot 2 teams will host the first leg and Pot 1 teams will host the second.
No teams from the same country may play each other in the Round of 16. This means that Club Leon from Mexico cannot be drawn into a matchup with Monterrey, Club America or Cruz Azul. Leon will face one of the four American clubs (the Crew, Union, Timbers or Atlanta) or the Canadian team, which is yet to be determined.
How to watch:
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021; 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports, TUDN
Social media: Follow Massive Report on Twitter for updates throughout the draw
2020: UANL Tigres
2019: Monterrey (4)
2018: Club Guadalajara
2016-17: Pachuca (2)
2015-16: Club America (2)
2014-15: Club America
2013-14: Cruz Azul
2012-13: Monterrey (3)
2011-12: Monterrey (2)