By: BoriQa | January 15th, 2009

CONCACAF announced that due to a last minute withdrawal by two teams from the upcoming Caribbean Club Champions Cup, the draw format was restructured; and the Puerto Rico Islanders were re-seeded by the CFU and given a spot directly into the semifinals of the 2009 tournament!

The Islanders, last year’s underdogs, are now this year’s tournament favourites, and will only need one win, either in the semifinals or the the finals in May, to qualify to the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League.

The CFU announced Wednesday that Portmore United of Jamaica and SV Racing of Aruba withdrew on Tuesday from the Caribbean Club Champions Cup (citing issues such as cost and stadium deficiencies), resulting in a new format for the tournament’s draw.

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The ten remaining teams in the first round include: W. Connection of Trinidad, Haitian Clubs Tempête and Cavaly SA, Inter Moengo Tapoe of Suriname, Greenbay Hoppers of Antigua & Barbuda, Sevilla FC Puerto Rico, Guyana’s Alpha United, Dominica’s Centre Bath Estate, Aruba’s SV Britannia, and Curaçao’s CSD Barber.

The new format will consist of two pools of five teams in each pool in the first round, drawn against each other for two legs March 18 and March 25. The five first-round winners will be joined by San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad and drawn against each other in another round of home-and-away matches in the second (quarterfinal) round to be played April 13 and April 20.

The three second-round winners will be combined with the Puerto Rico Islanders for single-game semifinals on May 15 in Trinidad & Tobago. The single-game final will be played two days later in Trinidad.

Three teams from the Caribbean cup advance to the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League.

The Puerto Rico Islanders are the only remaining Caribbean team of the top three teams last year still in alive in the 2008/2009 CONCACAF Champions League. The Islanders will play Honduras’ Marathon in the two-leg quarterfinals series of the tournament on February 26th & March 5th.

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