CONCACAF released the pot assignments for the 2018 Champions League Wednesday morning. The results were predictably not-good for the Rapids. The higher seeds are in pot 1 and the lower seeds are in pot 2.
Pot 2: Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), CS Herediano (CRC*), Cibao FC (DOM), FC Motagua (HON), Club Deportivo Olimpia (HON), Tauro FC (PAN), Santa Tecla FC (SLV) and Colorado Rapids (USA)
The Rapids were designated for that pot via the CONCACAF Club Index, which is apparently a thing that exists, though I have never before seen it or heard of it. Simply put, the Rapids poor 2017 season, coupled with having not appeared in CONCACAF Champions League since 2011, resulted in this lower-seeding.
The CONCACAF Champions League draw takes place next month. CCL in 2018 will be contested as a straight knockout-style tournament, with each round being contested as a home-and-away, aggregate goals series. The round of sixteen commences in February, and Colorado will be facing one of the high-powered teams from pot 1.
It should be exciting to watch the 2018 Rapids assume the mantle of the underdog against some of these top North American football teams. There is also the exciting possibility that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park could play host to one of the hugely popular Liga MX teams like Chivas, Club America, or Tigres. At the very least, Rapids fans might get a chance to see some top-level, tournament style football a few weeks before the MLS regular season commences.
Even though todays news means that our chances for advancement don’t look very good, it’s still exciting to be a part of one of the hemisphere’s biggest football competition.