|2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League|
|Dates||February 20 - April 25, 2018|
|Teams||16 (from 8 associations)|
|Goals scored||84 (2.8 per match)|
(4 goals each)
|Best player||Sebastian Giovinco|
|Best young player||Rodolfo Pizarro|
|Best goalkeeper||Rodolfo Cota|
|Fair play award||New York Red Bulls|
The 2018 CONCACAF Champions League (officially the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League for sponsorship reasons) was the 10th edition of the CONCACAF Champions League under its current name, and overall the 53rd edition of the premier football club competition organized by CONCACAF, the regional governing body of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
The format of the tournament was changed as part of a new CONCACAF club competition platform consisting of two tournaments (CONCACAF League and CONCACAF Champions League) and a total of 31 teams competing during the season (an increase from the previous 24 teams), with 16 teams competing in the newly created CONCACAF League from August to October, and the winner of the CONCACAF League joining the 15 direct entrants competing in the CONCACAF Champions League from February to April. As a result, the 2018 edition was played using a new format that included the removal of the group stage, a reduction in participating teams from 24 to 16, and a total reduction in matches from 62 to 30.
Guadalajara defeated Toronto FC in the final to win their second CONCACAF club title and their first in the Champions League era, and qualified as the CONCACAF representative at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.Pachuca won the previous tournament but did not qualify for this tournament and were unable to defend their title.
A total of 16 teams participate in the CONCACAF Champions League:
Therefore, teams from either 8 or 9 out of the 41 CONCACAF member associations may participate in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The nine berths for the North American Football Union (NAFU) are allocated to the three NAFU member associations as follows: four berths each for Mexico and the United States, and one berth for Canada.
For Mexico, the champions and runners-up of the Liga MX Apertura and Clausura Liguilla (playoff) tournaments qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. If there is any team which are finalists of both tournaments, the vacated berth is reallocated using a formula, based on regular season records, that ensures that two teams qualify via each tournament.
For the United States, four teams qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, three through the Major League Soccer (MLS) season and one through its domestic cup competition:
If there is any team which qualifies through multiple berths, or if there is any Canada-based MLS team which are champions of the MLS Cup, the Supporters' Shield, or conference regular season, the vacated berth is reallocated to the U.S.-based team with the best MLS regular season record not yet qualified.
For Canada, the champions of the Canadian Championship, its domestic cup competition which awards the Voyageurs Cup, qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. While some Canada-based teams compete in the MLS, they cannot qualify through either the MLS regular season or Playoffs. In line with the launch of the new format, which places the Canadian representative directly in the CONCACAF Champions League beginning in early 2018, the Canadian Soccer Association announced in March 2017 that a special one-match playoff between the 2016 champions Toronto FC and the 2017 champions would be played on 9 August 2017 in Toronto to determine who would qualify for the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League, except in the case that Toronto FC won the 2017 edition, the playoff would be unnecessary and Toronto FC would qualify automatically. As Toronto FC did later win the 2017 Canadian Championship, the playoff was not played.
The five berths for the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) are allocated to five of the seven UNCAF member associations as follows: one berth for each of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
As all of the leagues of Central America employ a split season with two tournaments in one season, the champions with the better aggregate record (or any team which are champions of both tournaments) in the leagues of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
If teams from any Central American associations are excluded, they are replaced by teams from other Central American associations, with the associations chosen based on results from previous CONCACAF Champions League tournaments. For this season, the team from Guatemala was excluded due to the suspension of their federation by FIFA and was replaced by an additional team from Costa Rica.
The sole berth for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) is allocated via the Caribbean Club Championship, a subcontinental tournament open to the clubs of all 31 CFU member associations. To qualify for the Caribbean Club Championship, teams have to finish as the champions or runners-up of their respective association's league in the previous season, but professional teams may also be selected by their associations if they play in the league of another country.
The champions of the Caribbean Club Championship qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
Besides the 15 direct entrants of the CONCACAF Champions League, another 16 teams (13 from the Central American Football Union, 3 from the Caribbean Football Union) enter the CONCACAF League, a tournament held from August to October prior to the CONCACAF Champions League.
The champions of the CONCACAF League qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
The following 16 teams (from eight associations) qualified for the tournament.
In the following table, the number of appearances, last appearance, and previous best result count only those in the CONCACAF Champions League era starting from 2008-09 (not counting those in the era of the Champions' Cup from 1962 to 2008).
|Association||Team||Qualifying method||App||Last app||Previous best|
|North America (9 teams)|
|UANL||2016 Apertura champions and 2017 Clausura runners-up||4th||2016-17||Runners-up|
|Guadalajara||2017 Clausura champions||2nd||2012-13||Group stage|
|América||2016 Apertura runners-up||4th||2015-16||Champions|
|Tijuana||Non-finalists with best regular season record in 2017 Clausura[Note MEX]||2nd||2013-14||Semi-finals|
| United States
|Seattle Sounders FC||2016 MLS Cup champions||5th||2015-16||Semi-finals|
|FC Dallas||2016 MLS Supporters' Shield and 2016 U.S. Open Cup champions||3rd||2016-17||Semi-finals|
|New York Red Bulls||2016 MLS Eastern Conference regular season champions||4th||2016-17||Quarter-finals|
|Colorado Rapids||2016 MLS Supporters' Shield runners-up[Note USA]||2nd||2011-12||Group stage|
|Toronto FC||2016 Canadian Championship and 2017 Canadian Championship champions[Note CAN]||5th||2012-13||Semi-finals|
|Central America (6 teams)|
| Costa Rica
1 + 1 berths[Note GUA]
|Saprissa||Champions with better aggregate record in 2016-17 season
(2016 Invierno champions)
|Herediano||Champions with worse aggregate record in 2016-17 season
(2017 Verano champions)
+ CONCACAF League
|Motagua||2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura champions||4th||2015-16||Group stage|
|Olimpia||2017 CONCACAF League champions||10th||2016-17||Quarter-finals|
|Tauro||Champions with better aggregate record in 2016-17 season
(2017 Clausura champions)
| El Salvador
|Santa Tecla||2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura champions||2nd||2015-16||Group stage|
|Caribbean (1 team)|
|Dominican Republic||Cibao||2017 Caribbean Club Championship champions||1st||N/A||N/A|
The draw determined each tie in the round of 16 (numbered 1 through 8) between a team from Pot 1 and a team from Pot 2, each containing eight teams. The "Bracket Position Pots" (Pot A and Pot B) contained the bracket positions numbered 1 through 8 corresponding to each tie. The teams from Pot 1 were assigned a bracket position from Pot A and the teams from Pot 2 were assigned a bracket position from Pot B. Teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other in the round of 16 except for "wildcard" teams which replaced a team from another association.
The seeding of teams are based on the new CONCACAF Club Index. Each team qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions League based on criteria set by the respective associations (e.g., tournament champions, runners-up, cup champions), resulting in an assigned slot (e.g., CRC1, CRC2) for each team. The CONCACAF Club Index, instead of ranking each team, is based on the on-field performance of the teams that have occupied the respective qualifying slots in the previous five editions of the CONCACAF Champions League. To determine the total points awarded to a slot in any single edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF uses the following formula:
|Points per||Participation||Win||Draw||Stage advanced||Champions|
The 16 teams were distributed in the pots as follows:
|5||USA3||16||11||13||16||20||76||New York Red Bulls|
|7||USA1||20||17||11||14||11||73||Seattle Sounders FC|
|Pot 2||9||USA4||11||16||20||16||8||71||Colorado Rapids|
In the CONCACAF Champions League, the 16 teams played a single-elimination tournament. Each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis. If the aggregate score was tied after the second leg, the away goals rule would be applied, and if still tied, the penalty shoot-out would be used to determine the winner (Regulations, II. D. Tie-Breaker Procedures).
The schedule of the competition was as follows.
|First leg||Second leg|
|Round of 16||February 20-22, 2018||February 27 - March 1, 2018|
|Quarter-finals||March 6-7, 2018||March 13-14, 2018|
|Semi-finals||April 3-4, 2018||April 10, 2018|
|Finals||April 17, 2018||April 25, 2018|
Times up to March 10, 2018 (round of 16 and quarter-finals first legs) were Eastern Standard Time, i.e., UTC-5, thereafter (quarter-finals second legs and beyond) times were Eastern Daylight Time, i.e., UTC-4 (local times are in parentheses).
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Finals|
|Toronto FC (a)||2||2||4|
|Toronto FC||1||2||3 (2)|
|Guadalajara (p)||2||1||3 (4)|
|Seattle Sounders FC||1||4||5|
|Seattle Sounders FC||1||0||1|
|New York Red Bulls||0||0||0|
|New York Red Bulls||2||3||5|
|New York Red Bulls||1||2||3|
In the round of 16, the matchups were decided by draw: R16-1 through R16-8. The teams from Pot 1 in the draw hosted the second leg.
The first legs were played on February 20-22, and the second legs were played on February 27 - March 1, 2018.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Santa Tecla||2-5||Seattle Sounders FC||2-1||0-4|
|Olimpia||1-3||New York Red Bulls||1-1||0-2|
|Colorado Rapids||0-2||Toronto FC||0-2||0-0|
|Tauro||3-3 (a)||FC Dallas||1-0||2-3|
Guadalajara won 7-0 on aggregate.
Seattle Sounders FC won 5-2 on aggregate.
New York Red Bulls won 3-1 on aggregate.
Tijuana won 2-1 on aggregate.
UANL won 5-3 on aggregate.
Toronto FC won 2-0 on aggregate.
3-3 on aggregate. Tauro won on away goals.
América won 6-2 on aggregate.
In the quarter-finals, the matchups were determined as follows:
The winners of round of 16 matchups 1, 3, 5, 7 hosted the second leg.
The first legs were played on March 6-7, and the second legs were played on March 13-14, 2018.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Seattle Sounders FC||1-3||Guadalajara||1-0||0-3|
|Tijuana||1-5||New York Red Bulls||0-2||1-3|
|Toronto FC||4-4 (a)||UANL||2-1||2-3|
Guadalajara won 3-1 on aggregate.
New York Red Bulls won 5-1 on aggregate.
4-4 on aggregate. Toronto FC won on away goals.
América won 7-1 on aggregate.
In the semi-finals, the matchups were determined as follows:
The semi-finalists in each tie which had the better performance in previous rounds hosted the second leg.
|2||New York Red Bulls||4||3||1||0||8||2||+6||10||2nd leg|
|4||Toronto FC||4||2||1||1||6||4||+2||7||1st leg|
The first legs were played on April 3-4, and the second legs were played on April 10, 2018.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Guadalajara||1-0||New York Red Bulls||1-0||0-0|
Guadalajara won 1-0 on aggregate.
Toronto FC won 4-2 on aggregate.
In the finals (Winner SF1 vs. Winner SF2), the finalists which had the better performance in previous rounds hosted the second leg.
|2||Toronto FC||6||3||2||1||10||6||+4||11||1st leg|
The first leg was played on April 17, and the second leg was played on April 25, 2018.
|1||Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC||4||1||1||1||1|
|Jonathan Osorio||Toronto FC||1||1||1||1|
|3||Jozy Altidore||Toronto FC||3||1||1||1|
|Bradley Wright-Phillips||New York Red Bulls||1||2|
|Nicolás Lodeiro||Seattle Sounders FC||1||1|
|Gerson Mayen||Santa Tecla||2|
|Golden Ball||Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC|
|Golden Boot||Jonathan Osorio||Toronto FC|
|Golden Glove||Rodolfo Cota||Guadalajara|
|Best Young Player||Rodolfo Pizarro||Guadalajara|
|Fair Play Award||--||New York Red Bulls|
|Michael Amir Murillo||New York Red Bulls|
|MF||Jonathan Osorio||Toronto FC|
|Nicolás Lodeiro||Seattle Sounders FC|
|FW||Sebastian Giovinco||Toronto FC|