Draw Recap: Cavalry And Forge’s Champions Cup Opponents Revealed
The pot for the live draw meant two CPL sides could only be drawn against a finite number of Liga MX and MLS sides in the opening round, which will take place in February. Cavalry secured its berth by winning the 2023 CPL regular season, while Forge were granted entry for finishing as the subsequent playoff champions.
With the first round featuring both home-and-away matches, fans from both sides will have the opportunity for some big visitors…from both Liga MX and MLS pastures.
The live draw saw Forge become the first CPL team up to bat, pairing them against the Chivas Guadalajara. Founded in 1906, they finished as the 2022–23 Liga MX Clausura runners-up to qualify in this year’s Champions Cup, so make no mistake: these are still giants of the game set to square off against Forge.
The hammers aren’t strangers here, though, having faced Liga MX competition in Cruz Azul in 2022, falling 4-1 on aggregate.
Cavalry FC found itself drawn against Major League Soccer side Orlando SC, setting up a big February weather contrast matchup between two North American sides. Orlando earned a berth as one of the best runners-up in the 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield standings, and are poised for their second Champions Cup run after losing out to Tigres in the Round of 16 last year.
With a designated player like Facundo Torres on the roster, they’ll believe they can go beyond the opening round again, too.
The 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup is the first iteration of a major rebranding from their old Champions League identity, boasting an expanded knockout club competition format and a much bigger prize pool to match – something that Cavalry and Forge will be hoping to dig into.
While this will be far from Forge’s first foray into continental action, this marks Cavalry’s first call to battle in such a knockout cup. The Canadian Premier League has historically punched above its weight, though getting paired against clubs with multitudes-higher salary caps sets up some David-versus-Goliath.
There will be some familiar faces in the competition, with FC Cincinnati assistant coach Pa-Modou Kah having once coached Pacific, while Nashville SC defender Lukas MacNaughton also has close ties to the Tridents after winning the league with them in 2021.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis on Cavalry and Forge’s first round opponents in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.