MIAMI — Major League Soccer champion Columbus was drawn Wednesday to play Nicaragua’s Real Esteli in the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Atlanta will play Costa Rica’s Alajuelense, Philadelphia will face Costa Rica’s Saprissa and Portland will meet Honduras’ Marathon.
Other first round matchups have Mexico’s América against Honduras’ Olimpia, Mexico’s Cruz Azul against Haiti’s Arcahaie, Mexico’s Monterrey against the Dominican Republic’s Pantoja.
Mexico’s Leon will face the winner of the Canadian championship between MLS’s Toronto and Forge, a Hamilton, Ontario, club in the Canadian Premier League.
First legs of the total-goals series will be April 6-8 and second legs April 13-15.
Quarterfinals will be April 27-29 and May 4-6, semifinals Aug. 10-12 and Sept. 14-16, and the one leg final from Oct.. 26-28.
Mexican clubs have won 19 consecutives titles. Tigres, the 2020 CONCACAF champion, plays Bayern Munich on Thursday night in the final of the Club World Cup at Doha, Qater, the first CONCACAF team to reach the world club final.