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CONCACAF Champions League draw set for November 8

CARSON, Calif. The LA Galaxy will learn the identity of their opponent in the quarterfinal of the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League next week. CONCACAF has announced that the draw for the 2011/12 Champions League Championship Round will be conducted on Tuesday, November 8 at the confederation's New York headquarters.

The draw will set pairings for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Each match-up throughout the remainder of the competition will be contested over two legs with the series to be decided by aggregate goals. The first-leg quarterfinal games will be played March 6-8 with second legs being completed March 13-15.

The Galaxy clinched a berth in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in club history on the last day of the Group Stage with a 1-0 win in Honduras over CD Motagua on Oct. 20. LA, with a 4-2-0 record for 12 points, finished tied for first in the Group A standings, along with Monarcas Morelia of Mexico and LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica, and advanced as group winners thanks to their superior goal differential in games between the three teams.

Group Stage winners will be paired against Group Stage runners-up. Teams that played in the same group may not be drawn against one another, meaning the Galaxy can not face Morelia in the quarterfinals, however, a team may be drawn against another team from its own country. The runners-up will host the first leg, meaning that the Galaxy will be on the road for their first quarterfinal game next year.

Along with the Galaxy, the other group winners were Mexican clubs Santos Laguna, Pumas UNAM and last-year’s champion Monterrey.  The runners-up are Monarcas Morelia of Mexico, Isidro Metapan of El Salvador, Toronto FC from Canada and Seattle Sounders FC of the United States.

First leg semifinal games will be played March 27-29, while second leg matches will take place April 3-5.  The first leg of the finals will be played between April 17-19 with the second leg following a week later between April 24-26.

While this is the Galaxy’s first trip to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, they did reach the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the predecessor to the Champions League, four times. The Galaxy, who won the 2000 Champions Cup with a 3-2 win over CD Olimpia of Honduras at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, last played in the quarterfinals of that tournament in 2006, when they lost to Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica 3-2 on aggregate in extra time. They also lost in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Champions Cup, falling 6-2 on aggregate to Necaxa of Mexico. In 1997, the Galaxy became the first MLS team to reach the Champions Cup Final, only to fall 5-3 to Cruz Azul.