CCL Group Stage Schedule Set
Photo: Ryan Johnson (right) and Toronto to play Santos Laguna at home August 28 (Giamou/TorontoFC.ca)
Toronto FC discovered its 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League group stage schedule on Friday.
Reds advanced to this tournament for the fourth consecutive time by lifting the Voyageurs Cup, awarded to the Canadian Championship winner. In Group 1, Toronto faces Mexico's Santos Laguna and CD Aguila of El Salvador. Both teams won the 2012 Clausura tournament in their respective nations.
Toronto met Santos Laguna in the 2011/12 CCL semifinals. The Mexicans ousted the Reds 7-3 on aggregate. Toronto held the powerful opponent to a 1-1 draw at BMO Field before surrendering four second half goals in the return leg, losing 6-2.
A format change in the 2012/13 edition of the tournament eliminated the preliminary round, allowing all 24 entrants instead of 16 to start from the group stage. Teams have been divided into eight groups of three and only the winner from each alignment can advance to the quarterfinals.
Toronto will play its first two matches at home, before finishing in El Salvador and Mexico.
Aguila and Santos are both likely to be in season for their respective Apertura tournaments starting from July.
Champions League Matches For Group 1 (home team listed first)
Wednesday, August 1
Toronto v. Aguila - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, August 21
Santos Laguna v. Aguila - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, August 28
Toronto v. Santos Laguna - 8 p.m.
Wednesday, September 19
Aguila v. Santos Laguna - 10 p.m.
Tuesday, September 25
Aguila v. Toronto - 10 p.m.
Wednesday, October 24
Santos Laguna v. Toronto - 8 p.m.
Ticket information to come.