NEW YORK CITY CMC:
CARIBBEAN FOOTBALL Union (CFU) champions Portmore United, of Jamaica, have given up their home assignment in the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup to face Mexico's Club America in the USA.
The quarter-final home-and-away series fixtures for the 2006 Champions' Cup were confirmed over the weekend with the first-legs scheduled from February 22-23 and the return matches on March 8.
Portmore United FC will meet Club America on February 22 in the opening leg of the quarter-final series at Minute Maid Stadium in Houston, Texas and not in Jamaica.
BETTER FINANCIAL PROSPECTS
Portmore United's General Manager, Clive Marshall, says the decision to play in the U.S.A. instead of Jamaica represents better financial prospects for them while giving their players more exposure.
"For some financial benefits to be derived from this, we are better served to stage the game outside of the country, TV Rights and so on," Marshall told CMC Sport yesterday.
"It also gives the players some level of exposure in terms of scouts looking at players, so it's an opportunity for our players to try and obtain an overseas contract," he added.
Marshall is also encouraged by the team's overseas record in the tournament.
Portmore United emerged CFU champions last month when they thumped home team SV Robinhood 5-2 on aggregate in Paramaribo, Suriname, after eliminating another Dutch Antilles side SV Centro Deportivo Barber in the semis in Curaçao.
HOPING FOR SUCCESS
"We played all our games outside of the country (Jamaica) and we have been successful to date, so we have decided to continue to play our (home) game away from home," Marshall said.
Portmore United will face Club America in the March 8 return game at the Azteca Stadium in México.
The quarter-final winners will advance to the Champions' Cup semi-final series scheduled for March 21-23 and 28-30, respectively.
The semi-final series victors will play for the 2006 CONCACAF Champions' Cup on April 11-13 & 18-20, respectively, with the winner also qualifying to the FIFA Club World Championship in Japan later this year.
The Champions' Cup runner-up will be one of the three CONCACAF invitees to the 2006 Copa Nissan Sudamericana.