USA TODAY Sports Images

2019 Concacaf Champions League field gains another member

Only two spots are left to fill for the 2019 Concacaf Champions League.

Atlanta United earned their place in next year’s continental championship by virtue of clinching the best aggregate record in the United States across the 2017 and 2018 MLS regular seasons. With the addition of Atlanta, 14 of the available 16 spots have been claimed. The 2018 MLS Cup champion and winner of the 2018 Concacaf League will fill the remaining two spots.

The Dynamo earned their fifth trip to the Champions League by winning the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and first since the 2013-14 edition. Houston’s best finish in the tournament was a quarterfinal appearance in 2012-13.

Along with the Dynamo and Atlanta, two other MLS teams have qualified for CCL: Sporting KC (2017 U.S. Open Cup winner) and Toronto FC (2018 Canadian Championship winner). The final U.S. club to enter the tournament will be determined after the MLS Cup Final on December 8.

The CONCACAF League final will be played over two legs on October 25 and November 1 between Herediano (Costa Rica) and Motagua (Honduras).

The draw for the knockout tournament will be in December. Clubs are seeded according to the Concacaf Club Index, which is based on the on-field performance of teams that have occupied the respective qualifying slots in the last five editions of the tournament. The Dynamo, by qualifying as 2018 Open Cup champions, are in the “USA4” slot and seeded seventh.

The top eight seeded are placed in Pot 1 for the draw, and remaining teams go in Pot 2. Teams are then drawn at random from the two pots, as well as their place in the tournament bracket.

Pot 1 Pot 2
Monterrey (MEX3) Independiente (PAN1)
Tigres UANL (MEX1) 2018 MLS Cup winner (USA2)
Santos Laguna (MEX2) Saprissa (CRC1)
Toronto FC (CAN1) Marathón (HON1)
Sporting KC (USA3)* Guastatoya (GUA1)
Toluca (MEX4) Alianza (SLV1)
Houston Dynamo (USA4) Atlético Pantoja (CCC1)†
Atlanta United (USA1) CONCACAF League winner (SCL1)

*Sporting KC can still qualify as USA2
†2018 Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship winner; from Dominican Republic