The 2023 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) kicks off this Tuesday with tournament debutants Austin FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) taking on 2022 Flow CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship winners Violette AC of Haiti at the Estadio Cibao FC in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
“For Violette, this will be their first appearance in the SCCL era, however they were crowned champions of CONCACAF in 1984 when they took home that year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup,” said CONCACAF on Monday.
It said Violette qualified for the 2023 SCCL via their title-winning run in the 2022 FCCCC, where they defeated Cibao FC in the Final in a penalty shootout.
CONCACAF said the same stadium where they lifted that trophy will be the site of Tuesday’s affair, and many of the players who led the Caribbean club to that crown will be back for this international campaign.
MF Elyvens Dejean was named the Best Player of the 2022 FCCCC for scoring two goals, while teenager and attacking player Steevenson Jeudy was named the Best Young Player for his two goals in the 3-1 semifinal win versus Waterhouse of Jamaica, CONCACAF said.
It said those two players, along with midfield anchor Steeven Saba, who was one of the leaders of the Haiti team that reached the semifinals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will be aiming for a strong result in the home leg of this series.
CONCACAF said third-year MLS franchise Austin FC will be making their debut in international competition after a second place regular season finish in the Western Conference during the 2022 MLS season.
“The Texan side boasts one of the most dangerous players in MLS in Argentine attacker Sebastian Driussi, who scored 22 goals in 34 games last season,” CONCACAF said.
“Aiding the cause is winger Diego Fagundez, who contributed 15 assists, while FW Maximiliano Urruti is no stranger to CONCACAF nights, having scored five goals in 12 previous SCCL matches with the Portland Timbers, FC Dallas and CF Montreal,” it added.