Jabloteh, Central could meet in CONCACAF League semis; draw determines inaugural first round matchups

​Photo: San Juan Jabloteh goalkeeper Javon Sample makes a comfortable take while Central FC midfielder Sean De Silva, left, and Jabloteh defender Jevon Morris look on during a clash of the two teams in the 2016-17 Pro League.

San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC could face each other in semi-final round of the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF League – the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)’s version of the UEFA Europa League – should they both advance as far.

Jabloteh, Jamaica’s Portmore United and Central are the three Caribbean representatives at the CONCACAF League after finishing second, third and fourth in the recently concluded 2017 Caribbean Club Championship which was captured by Dominican Republic’s Cibao FC.

Cibao, the Caribbean champions on debut, took the region’s automatic spot at next season’s newly reformatted 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League which begins in February and will involve the top 16 teams across CONCACAF, including Central America, Mexico, the United States and Canada. The champion team of that competition will represent the CONCACAF at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup.

Meanwhile Jabloteh, Portmore United, Central and thirteen (13) top teams from Central America must contest the newly formed CONCACAF League which begins in August and will be contested in a home-and-away knockout format. The overall CL champions will also advance to next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.

Jabloteh must face Costa Rica’s Santos de Guapiles and Central are against CD Arabe Unido of Panama in the preliminary round (Round of 16) by way of last Wednesday’s draw at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel in Miami.

Former Jabloteh striker Jerrel Britto will also compete in the CONCACAF League as his side Honduras Progreso must face Panama’s Chorrillo FC in the Round of 16.

The draw was conducted by CONCACAF General Secretary Phillipe Moggio with the assistance of retired CONCACAF stars Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Omar Daley (Jamaica).

Photo: Round-of-16 pairings for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League.

The Round of 16 pairings for the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League are as follows:

Matchup #1: San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) v Santos de Guapiles FC (CRC)
Matchup #2: CD Honduras Progreso (HON) v Chorrillo FC (PAN) 
Matchup #3: CD Arabe Unido (PAN) v Central FC (TRI) 
Matchup #4: Real Esteli FC (NCA) v CD Aguila (SLV) 
Matchup #5: LD Alajuelense (CRC) v CD Olimpia (HON) 
Matchup #6: Alianza FC (SLV) v Platense FC (HON) 
Matchup #7: CD Plaza Amador (PAN) v Portmore United FC (JAM)
Matchup #8: Belmopan Bandits (BLZ) v CD Walter Ferretti (NCA)

For the Round of 16, the clubs that are listed first will play away first, and then will host the return matches.

The winners of the match-ups numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7, will host the return leg of the quarterfinals. For the semi-finals, clubs will be ranked per their performance (points earned, goal differential and goals scored) in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, using the competitions tie-breaking procedure.

The highest-ranked club in each semi-final matchup will host the 2nd leg matches. The same tie-breaking procedure will be applied to determine who will host the second leg final.

The Scotiabank CONCACAF League includes top club teams from the Central America and Caribbean regions. For the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, Panama and Honduras each enjoy an additional berth to the tournament, filling the two spots allocated for Guatemala clubs (not eligible to participate in the competition due to the on-going suspension of the Guatemalan Federation).