Monday , July 26 2021

Caribbean sides head up list of CONCACAF League debutantes!

This Wednesday the Draw for the fifth 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF League will be held in which 22 teams from across the Central American and Caribbean regions will learn their Preliminary Round and Round of 16 fate.

While the tournament, which kicks off on August 3, will include CONCACAF League mainstays and former champions like Olimpia of Honduras and Costa Rican giants Deportivo Saprissa and Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, there will be five new teams making their CONCACAF League debut.

Of the five debutants, all three teams from the Caribbean will be making their first appearance in the tournament.

After reaching the semifinals of the 2021 Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship, AS Samaritaine of Martinique earned their spot in the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF League Preliminary Round. Samaritaine overcame a tough group in the Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship that included former Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League participant Don Bosco of Haiti to reach the final four before falling to eventual champions Cavaly AS of Haiti. Samaritaine are the second team from Martinique to compete in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League, following in the footsteps of Club Franciscain, who appeared in the 2018 edition.

For the first time ever, a club from Puerto Rico will compete in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League, with Metropolitan earning that distinction after a semifinal finish in the 2021 Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship. Metropolitan topped a group that included Delfines del Este of the Dominican Republic before falling in the semifinals to Suriname’s Inter Moengo Tapoe. Metropolitan, who will begin in the Preliminary Round, are the first team from Puerto Rico to appeared in a CONCACAF club tournament since Bayamon in the 2014-15 SCCL.

By virtue of being the 2021 Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship runner-up, Inter Moengo Tapoe have qualified directly to the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF League Round of 16. The Suriname club edged out Dominican Republic side Universidad O&M in the Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship group stage before topping Metropolitan on their way to the Final. Inter Moengo Tapoe are the second team from Suriname to qualify for the Scotiabank CONCACAF League, with Robinhood achieving that feat in 2019.

The other two sides debuting in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League hail from the Central American region, beginning with Once Deportivo of El Salvador, who qualified for the Preliminary Round based on being the club with the best aggregate record among non-champions during the 2020-21 season. The Salvadoran club boast a familiar face in Mexican DF Edgar Solis, who won the 2012-13 SCCL as a member of Liga MX giants Monterrey.

The other Central American debutant hails from Guatemalan football in 2021 Clausura champions Santa Lucia, who will kick off play in the Preliminary Round. Santa Lucia qualified in dramatic fashion, scoring twice in stoppage time in the return leg of the Guatemala Clausura final against giants Comunicaciones in a 6-5 final to punch their ticket to their first CONCACAF tournament.

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