Earlier this evening, the Vancouver Whitecaps finally learned the identity of their CCL Group Stage opponents. They will have to deal with the humid conditions of Honduras when they take on CD Olimpia and then some pretty familiar conditions when they meet the Seattle Sounders.
Many Vancouver fans are delighted to face their Cascadia rivals in CONCACAF action. The biggest bonus from this pairing is the location. Seattle is nice and close which means the Whitecaps will not be suffering from jet lag when they take to the pitch. However, I must express my disappointment. The Champions League represents an opportunity to watch your club go up against unfamiliar foes from distant lands. This isn’t the case for the Sounders.
The match up against Olimpia is intriguing. The Honduran league is one of the best in CONCACAF. And Olimpia is one of the best teams in the league. Fun fact, Olimpia have actually won the CCL twice (’72 & ’88). Recently crowned champions of the Honduran Liga Nacional 2014-15 season, they will be a tough test for Vancouver and Seattle. Two long haul flights to the Pacific Northwest will prove to be a steep hill for them to climb.
I don’t see the Whitecaps advancing if they are still relying upon the talents of Pa Modou Kah to anchor their back line. Kah was horrendous just a few weeks ago when the Sounders came to visit. Of course, Chad Barrett schooled Kah twice and the Sounders were victorious.
1. Seattle Sounders
2. Vancouver Whitecaps
3. CD Olimpia