MIAMI, Florida – The history of teams from the Caribbean in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League may not be as extensive as those from other regions, but there are five clubs that have carved out an impressive legacy since the tournament’s inception in 2008-09.
Puerto Rico Islanders – 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
The Puerto Rico Islanders were a mainstay of the SCCL in the first five years of the tournament, appearing in every edition, while compiling a record of 12W-10D-12L. Fans of the Islanders won’t ever forget the club’s maiden voyage in 2008-09 when it eliminated Costa Rica’s Alajuelense in the Preliminary Round, finished second in their group to reach the knockout round and then eliminated Honduran club Marathon in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Puerto Rico then took Mexican giants Cruz Azul to a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw on aggregate before falling in spot kicks. Three years later, the Islanders defeated MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy in the Preliminary Round and also earned a 3-2 group stage win over Liga MX’s Toluca.
W Connection – 2009-10, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17
Like the Puerto Rico Islanders, W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago have participated in five SCCLs with an all-time record of 4W-6D-14L. The club’s best performance in the tournament came in their first appearance in 2009-10, beginning with a 4-3 aggregate victory over the New York Red Bulls of MLS in the Preliminary Round. W Connection then followed that up with a respectable third-place finish in their four-team group, which included a 3-0 away win at Comunicaciones of Guatemala via a Jonathan Fana hat trick and a 3-2 home triumph over Real Espana of Honduras.
Joe Public – 2008-09, 2010-11
Trinidad and Tobago side Joe Public have just two SCCL appearances under their belt with a 4W-2D-10L record, but they certainly made a big impression in their SCCL debut in 2008-09. Paired with the New England Revolution of MLS in the Preliminary Round, Joe Public delivered a dazzling display of football over the 180 minutes, earning a hard-fought 2-1 win at home in the first leg, before steamrolling the Revolution 4-0 in New England thanks to Gregory Richardson’s hat trick. With that win, Joe Public advanced to the group stage, and while they only won one match out of six, it was certainly a big one, as the Caribbean side topped eventual champions Atlante 1-0 in Mexico.
Waterhouse FC – 2014-15
Four different teams from Jamaica each have just one appearance in the SCCL, and while none of them ever advanced past the group stage of the tournament or advanced to the quarterfinals from the Round of 16, Waterhouse boast the best record of the four. The club qualified for the 2014-15 edition and had a very respectable 2W-0D-2L record in their lone appearance, earning a pair of wins over Panamanian giants Tauro FC. Waterhouse finished second in their three-team group behind DC United of MLS.
Central FC – 2015-16, 2016-17
Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago reached the SCCL in consecutive seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17, with a 1W-2D-5L overall record. The club’s lone SCCL victory came in the 2015-16 edition in a 1-0 win over Guatemalan giants Comunicaciones FC. The Caribbean side also collected a very solid 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS on their way to a second-place finish in the group. A year later in the 2016-17 group stage, Central FC gave another MLS side a good run for their money when they played Sporting Kansas City to a 2-2 draw.