D.C. United will play Central American champion Olimpia of Honduras in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup late this month in Las Vegas, it was announced yesterday.
In a draw held in New York, defending champion United received the most difficult matchup among the tournament favorites by getting paired with Olimpia, which finished first in its regional qualifying tournament last weekend after winning all three of its games by a combined score of 6-1.
The game is Sept. 29 at Sam Boyd Stadium, with the winner advancing to the semifinals against either Necaxa of Mexico or Saprissa of Costa Rica two days later. In the other quarterfinals on Sept. 28, the Chicago Fire will face the tournament's weakest opponent, Joe Public of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexican power Toluca will meet Alajuela of Costa Rica.
The winner of the 37-year-old tournament--which consists of the top teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean--advances to the inaugural world club championship in January in Brazil. England's Manchester United, Spain's Real Madrid and Brazilian powers Vasco da Gama and Corinthians have qualified.
"It's all about playing the best and testing yourself," United Coach Thomas Rongen said. "Olimpia is a difficult first test, but we know we have a chance to be part of history."