Costa Rican clubs will face opponents from the United States in the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.
Liga Deportiva Alajuelense meets Atlanta United FC on Tuesday, and Deportivo Saprissa will play Philadelphia Union on Wednesday in the region’s top club soccer tournament.
CONCACAF notes Alajuelense’s aggressive style could cause problems against an Atlanta team that will be playing its first match since last December. But the Costa Rican side will be without several players during the second leg due to visa issues.
For Saprissa, the 2021 Champions League marks their 10th appearance in the tournament, while the Union are making their debut in the competition.
Alajuelense and Saprissa both qualified to the Champions League thanks to their performance in the Concacaf League, which the rojinegros won. Alajuelense are the only Central American team to have twice reached the semifinal stage of the Champions League.
Atlanta United are competing in the Champions League for the third consecutive year, while Philadelphia Union are making their debut in the tournament.
The stage is set for 2021 @TheChampions! 🏆 // #SCCL21 pic.twitter.com/oGUb9USJqK
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 11, 2021
Mexican teams have historically dominated the Concacaf Champions League, and Liga MX’s UANL are the reigning winners.