Sporting Kansas City learned their 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League group on Monday. They were drawn into a group with Central FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
This is the first time in Sporting KC's history — in the current iteration of the Champions League — that they have been drawn in with another MLS opponent. CCL rules dictate that there shall be no Mexican or American teams in the same pool, but that does allow for some intra-MLS crossover with the Canadian representatives.
The Whitecaps earned admittance to the Champions League as the lone Canadian representatives. They won the 2015 Canadian Championship, defeating the Montreal Impact in the final. This is the Whitecaps' second time in the Champions League, as they played in last year's edition, but finished last in their group behind the Seattle Sounders and Olimpia.
Central FC is one of the two Trinidad and Tobago teams in the tournament. They were founded in 2012 and gained admittance to the tournament by winning the 2016 Caribbean Football Union Club Championship. They also made it to the 2015-16 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League by winning the 2015 CFU Club Championship, and finished tied for second in their group, losing out to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
For Sporting KC this is their third time making the tournament, featuring in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 editions. They have never gotten past the quarterfinal round. They made the tournament by winning the 2015 US Open Cup.
The three teams will play each other away once and at home once, for a total of four games for each team. The team with the highest number of points after those four games will move on to the quarterfinals, which will take place in spring of 2017. Group stage play is expected to start later this summer.