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CONCACAF Notebook: CONCACAF League Quarterfinals Preview

Time to take a deeper look at the field, as CONCACAF League is down to eight teams.

Welcome to Bigdsoccer’s continued coverage of the Scotiabank CONCACAF League. With eight teams left standing, we’ll take a closer look at the contenders, the pretenders, and how they got here.

We’ll take a look at all the teams combined regular season and SCL records (won-draw-loss), so we have a better understanding of what each team has going for it. Of the remaining eight teams, there are still five who are still undefeated.

All times posted are Central Standard time. Players stats are across all competitions.

All games are being streamed live on YouTube and

Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2017 Quarterfinals

Chorrillo FC (PAN) 4-2-1 vs. AD Santos De Guapiles (CRC) 3-2-0

Chorrillo FC defeated Honduras Progreso 2-0

AD Santos De Guapiles defeated San Juan Jabloteh 8-3

Two polar opposites square off in the first quarterfinal match, which could be the most evenly contested match-up of the four.

Chorrillo FC relies on its formidable defense to frustrate opponents attacks. After starting their regular season with a 3-0 road loss to fellow quarterfinalist Plaza Amador, Chorrillo finds itself in a six game unbeaten streak. Colombian goalkeeper Miguel Vargas has four clean sheets, and has two countrymen in front of him in Elkin Mosquera and Guillermo Sierra, who impose their defensive will on the opposition. Chorrillo counts on forward Alfredo Stephens (three goals) to provide game winning goals.

Undefeated after only five matches, AD Santos De Guapiles is an offensive juggernaut, having scored 13 goals already. A team that will score from anywhere and everywhere, Santos De Guapiles has had eight different players score. Team captain Eder Mungio (center back) is particularly dangerous on set pieces, leading the team with three goals. Forward Kenny Cunningham is their biggest threat (three goals), but it's young (23-years old) midfielder Wilmer Azofeifa (one goal/four assists) who pulls all the strings of the vaunted attack.

Away Leg Tuesday, August 15, 2017 9pm Chorrillo FC (PAN) vs. AD Santos de Guapiles (CRC)

Return Leg Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9pm AD Santos de Guapiles (CRC) vs. Chorrillo FC (PAN)

CD Aguila (SLV) 1-2-2 vs. CD Arabe Unido (PAN) 5-2-0

CD Aguila defeated Real Esteli 1-1 (4-3 on PKs)

CD Arabe Unido defeated Central FC 4-1

On paper, this quarterfinal looks like a complete mismatch.

CD Aguila not only enters as the lone team with a losing overall record, but also has allowed more goals (six goals) than they have scored (five goals). They’ll need their defense to step up big time if they wish to advance, and they’ll aso need the attacking pair of Javier Lezcano (two goals) and James Cabezas (one goal) to pick it up on offense.

CD Arabe Unido has a formidable array of weapons at its disposal. The Arabe Unido attack is like a three-headed dragon, with forwards Rennan Aldes (three goals/one assist), Carlos Small (three goals), and Enrico Small (twogoals), each capable of dealing opponents a deadly blow. All three of the forwards have been formidable to start the season, but the most dangerous player on the field is attacking midfielder Nelson Barahona (one goal/one assist), who is a game changing playmaker.

Away Leg Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9pm CD Aguila (SLV) vs. Deportivo Arabe Unido (PAN)

Return Leg Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9pm Deportivo Arabe Unido (PAN) vs. CD Aguila (SLV)

CD Walter Ferretti (NCA) 2-1-0 vs. CD Plaza Amador (PAN) 5-1-1

CD Walter Ferretti defeated Belmopan Bandits 5-1

CD Plaza Amador defeated Portmore United 1-1 (5-4 on PKs)

This is another quarterfinal that looks to be a mismatch, although CD Plaza Amador had a difficult time against another supposedly mismatched opponent.

Considered big underdogs in this series, the Nicaraguan League did CD Walter Ferretti no favors, as they have a league game scheduled the day before their first quarterfinal match. Walter Ferretti currently only have three matches under their belt, and their level of opposition has been nothing to write home about. There’s not much to gain from their first three matches, other than the South American duo in central midfield of Uruguayan 22 year old Bernardo Laureiro (two goals/two assists) and Brazilian Robinson (one goal/two assists), will be the players that can carry them to victory. Their defense has also been stout to begin with, but it will have to be even better if they hope to advance.

CD Plaza Amador is likely the most balanced team of the field. Lead by goalkeeper Eric Hughes (four clean sheets), Plaza Amador is capable of beating you with defense. On offense, Plaza Amador has multiple threats to throw at you, starting with young (22-years old) left midfielder Jose Murillo (three goals) and young (21-years old) attacking midfielder Richard Rodriguez (two goals). While the youngsters have stepped up early in the season, the real threats on this team are right midfielder Valentin Pimentel (one goal) and forward Ernesto Sinclair (one goal), who can be difference makers when it matters the most.

Away Leg Thursday, August 17, 2017 7pm CD Walter Ferretti (NCA) vs. CD Plaza Amador (PAN)

Return Leg Thursday, August 24, 2017 7pm CD Plaza Amador (PAN) vs. CD Walter Ferretti (NCA)

Alianza FC (SLV) 3-2-0 vs. CD Olimpia (HON) 4-1-0

Alianza FC defeated Platense 4-2

CD Olimpia defeated Alajuelense 3-0

Our final quarterfinal match is the most interesting of the four, as both teams defeated arguably the toughest opposition of the 1st round.

No team put up a more eye raising performance in the 1st round, than Alianza FC of El Salvador. Alianza displayed overall team speed and playmaking capabilities that teams from their country are not usually known for. The attacking duo of forward Rodolfo Zelaya (two goals/two assist) and young (24-years old) Colombian left midfielder Luis Hinestrosa (two assists) are a complete nightmare on the counter attack. Left back Alexander Larin (one goal) has been moved up to left midfielder, providing another speedy attacker. The Alianza defense is lead by goalkeeper Rafael Garcia (two clean sheets) and Uruguayan center back Dario Ferreira.

There are several formidable defenses in the SCL, but none is more formidable than CD Olimpia. One of the tournament favorites, Olimpia has yet to allow a single goal this season. Their impregnable defense is lead by veteran goalkeeper Donis Escober (five clean sheets) and a deep veteran backline that features Argentinian center back Walter Garcia, center back Johnny Palacios, Colombian center back Andres Quejada, and left back Ever Alvarado. To get to them, teams must first get past midfield destroyer Luis Garrido, formerly with the Houston Dynamo(2014-15). Attacking midfielder Alexander Lopez (one assist) pulls the strings of the the attack, which is lead by forwards Roger Rojas (one goal/one assist) and team captain Carlo Costly (one goal)

Away Leg Thursday, August 17, 2017 9pm Alianza FC (SLV) vs. CD Olimpia (HON)

Thursday, August 24, 2017 9pm CD Olimpia (HON) vs. Alianza FC (SLV)