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Defending champion Cruz Azul of Mexico to open CONCACAF Champions League play in Group 6

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MIAMI - Defending champion Cruz Azul of Mexico will open CONCACAF Champions League play in Group 6 with Alajuelense of Costa Rica and Chorrillo FC of Panama.

Cruz Azul won its record sixth title in April, beating fellow Mexican club Toluca.

Also Wednesday, Major League Soccer champion Sporting Kansas City was drawn into Group 2 with Saprissa of Costa Rica and Real Esteli of Nicaragua.

The groups will be contested in a round-robin, home-and-away format from August to October. The eight group winners will advance to the quarterfinals.

The groups:

Group 1: Pachuca (Mexico), Real Espana (Honduras), Municipal (Guatemala).

Group 2: Sporting Kansas City (U.S.), Saprissa (Costa Rica), Real Esteli (Nicaragua).

Group 3: New York Red Bulls (U.S.), Toronto FC or Montreal Impact (Canada), FAS (El Salvador).

Group 4: Tauro FC (Panama), D.C. United (U.S.), Waterhouse FC (Jamaica).

Group 5: Olimpia (Honduras), Portland Timbers (U.S.), Alpha United (Guyana).

Group 6: Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Cruz Azul (Mexico), Chorrillo FC (Panama).

Group 7: Leon (Mexico), Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), Belmopan Bandits (Belize).

Group 8: Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Club America (Mexico), Puerto Rico Bayamon FC (Puerto Rico).

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