Our Picks for the CONCACAF Champions Cup Round of 16

The CONCACAF Champions Cup is up and running, and the round of 16 has some very interesting ties. Here are our predictions for each two-leg series. 

Despite its new name and look, things remain mostly the same in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Which means we can expect the trademark chaotic vibe that perpetually surrounds the tournament to continue as the round of 16 kicks off this week.

Out of the remaining clubs in the competition, eight hail from the United States, five from Mexico, two from Costa Rica, and one from Suriname. The law of averages shows that this could be the year an MLS team wins the region’s biggest cup competition, with a place being locked in the 2025 Club World Cup.

But the CCC is anything but “average,” and those who have followed the tournament throughout its existence know that literally anything can happen once we progress into the knockout stages. With that said, we’ve still undergone the perilous task of predicting the outcomes of each round of 16 tie to see who will advance to the quarterfinals.

Philadelphia Union vs. Pachuca

It’s always an intense showdown when an MLS and Liga MX side face off in the CCC, no matter the round or stage. Philadelphia is off to a timid start in MLS with two draws so far, while Los Tuzos are in third place 10 weeks into the Liga MX season.

Pachuca has one of the league’s best attacks, but they are suspect when defending. The Union also looked weak in defense against Saprissa in their first round matchup. Pachuca manager Guillermo Almada has done well so far, and look for his team to be tighter in the back against a Union side that has seen better days.

Our pick to advance: Pachuca

Herediano vs. Robinhood

An unlikely match up takes place in the round of 16, as Costa Rican side Herediano upset Toluca to advance on away goals in the first round, while Suriname’s Robinhood earned a direct placement into the round of 16 after winning the 2023 Caribbean Cup. Herediano has former Atlanta United striker Erick “Cubo” Torres, and a strong enough support staff to get through to the next round.

Our pick to advance: Herediano

Chivas vs. América

By far the marquee series of the round of 16, we’re getting an El Súper Clásico on a massive stage.Chivas, led by Fernando Gago, have been largely inconsistent in Liga MX play, while Las Aguilas are sitting in fourth place with only one loss so far in the season. Clásicos can go either way in any given match, but if based on recent form, it’s Club America all the way here.

Our pick to advance: Club America

New England Revolution vs. Alajuelense

The Revs are still getting adjusted to life with Caleb Porter, and are off to a poor start in league play, dropping each of its first two MLS matches of the season. Alajuelense, currently third in Costa Rica’s top flight, will be a handful.

Our pick to advance: Alajuelense

Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew

The Crew are one of the best teams in MLS and look to have only gotten better in 2024. Led by Cucho Hernández, Columbus’ supporting cast looks like it can get the club far in CCC. The Dynamo won last season’s U.S. Open Cup, but still seem like an imbalanced side.

Our pick to advance: Columbus Crew

Orlando City SC vs. Tigres UANL

Orlando City looked very vulnerable in their recent match against Inter Miami, getting thrashed 5-0 over the weekend. Winners of the 2020 edition of the tournament, Tigres continues to be one of the best teams of the region. While it could be a statement win for Orlando City, look for UANL to continue their tradition of success in this tournament.

Our pick to advance: Tigres UANL

FC Cincinnati vs. Monterrey

Maybe one of the most exciting series of the round of 16, reigning MLS Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati takes on red-hot Monterrey. Cincy is still coping with the losses of Álvaro Barreal and Brandon Vázquez, the latter of whom ironically plies his trade with Monterrey. Los Rayados are currently the best team in Mexico and will most likely outlast an albeit formidable Cincinnati side.

Our pick to advance: Monterrey

Nashville SC vs. Inter Miami CF

A rematch of last year’s Leagues Cup final, Nashville will be looking to contain Lionel Messi and company. As much as Nashville is a competitive side, there has been very little change in the squad. Inter Miami, on paper, have gotten better, and now are looking like a very difficult team. Through its first three matches, Miami has only given up a single goal, and after Saturday’s five-goal performance against Orlando, its goal differential has run up to +7.

There is just too much Champions League-winning experience on Miami to think that Nashville will pull off an upset here.

Our pick to advance: Inter Miami

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