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Sporting Draw Toluca in the CONCACAF Champions League

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Sporting Kansas City will begin their 2019 CONCACAF Champions League Campaign

America v Toluca - Playoffs Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Pedro Mera/Getty Images

CONCACAF held their draw tonight for the 2019 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League in Miami. Sporting Kansas City was put into the USA2 slot of the four qualified teams and as such was put into Pot 2. Because of the rule that keeps teams from the same federation from facing each other in the first round, the eight teams in Pot 1 is shrunk to just five clubs because the three other US teams are in Pot 1. That left Kansas City with the chance to draw fellow MLS side, Toronto FC, the Canadian qualifier, or one of the four Liga MX teams, CF Monterrey, Club Deportivo Toluca, Santos Laguna, and Tigres UANL.

The draw saw Sporting draw into the B5 position and go up against Clausura runners up, Club Deportivo Toluca. If Sporting can defeat the Mexican side they would earn a match up against fellow MLS side, Toronto FC or Club Atletico Independiente out of Panama.

Sporting have never played Toluca in a competitive match, but will be playing their fourth home and away series against a Mexican side and their third in CONCACAF competitions. Sporting (then the Wizards) played Santos Laguna in the group stage of the 2001 Copa Mercanorte losing 4-2 on the road and 1-0 at home. The same two teams faced off the following year in the quarterfinals of the 2002 CONCACAF Champions Cup, Sporting lost on the road 2-1, but then won the home leg 2-0 to advance on aggregate, becoming the first MLS side to win a home-away series against a Mexican team. Their run in the 2002 tournament would end in the semifinals when they lost to Morelia 6-1 on the road before a 1-1 draw at home. Sporting didn’t play a Mexican side in a home-away series again until the knock out round of the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League when they faced off against Cruz Azul. Sporting won the first leg at home 1-0 but fell on the road 5-1 after being ahead on away goals at half time of that series.

Sporting will face Toluca at home in the first leg some time in late February before traveling to Toluca to face the 10 time Mexican league champions.