MIAMI, Florida – Defence Force and AC Port of Spain, the two teams challenging for the inaugural title in the Trinidad & Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) Tier 1 competition this season, will renew their rivalry again when they face each other in the group stage of the Concacaf Caribbean Cup, starting in August.
This follows the official draw for the 10-club tournament on Thursday at Concacaf headquarters in the United States.
Defence Force, former champions of Concacaf Champions Cup, and AC Port of Spain have been drawn in Group A with Cavalier FC of Jamaica, Moca FC of the Dominican Republic, and the runners-up of the Caribbean Club Shield tournament to be played from August 3-13 in St Kitts.
Only one point presently separates Defence Force and AC Port of Spain in the TTPFL, which appears likely to go down to the wire.
Two Jamaican clubs, Harbour View, the two-time former Caribbean club champions, and emerging side Dunbeholden FC will tackle Cibao FC and CA Pantoja out of the Dominican Republic, as well as the winner of the Caribbean Club Shield in Group B.
The Caribbean Cup will kick off with group stage play, followed by a home-and-away direct elimination knockout stage.
After round-robin play, where each club plays every other club in their group once, two matches at home and two matches away, the first and second-place finishers advance to the knockout stage.
The knockout stage comprises home and away semifinals, third place, and final.
At the end of the Caribbean Cup, the champion qualifies for the Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16, while the runners-up and third-place finisher will play in the first round.
Concacaf will announce the match schedule for the Caribbean Cup at a later date, but they indicated the first two rounds will be played between August 22 to 24 and August 29-31; the third and fourth rounds will be played between September 19-21 and September 26-28; and the final group matches will be played between October 3-5.
The first leg matches in the semifinals have been earmarked for October 24 to 26, and the second leg matches between October 31 to November 2.
The first leg matches in the final and third-place playoff will be contested from November 28 to 30, and the second legs from December 5-7.
Concacaf officials attending the draw indicated that the Caribbean Cup forms part of the confederation’s new men’s club ecosystem, which also includes regional cups in North America and Central America, all leading to a revamped 27-club Concacaf Champions Cup, which replaces the Concacaf Champions League.