Cavalier tasked with breaking Jamaican jinx against MLS opponent in Champions Cup

By Sports Desk January 23, 2024

New ground will be broken in this year's Concacaf Champions Cup when Jamaica's Cavalier Football Club square off against Major League Soccer's (MLS) FC Cincinnati in Round One action next month.

Not only will it be the first time that both teams will parade their skills in the tournament, but it will also be the first time that a Jamaican club will lock horns with an MLS outfit that is not DC United.

This two-legged encounter, like others in the first round, is possible due to the tournament's expanded format to accommodate 27 teams.

By virtue of winning the MLS Supporters Shield for the 2023 season, in which they had the league’s best record during the regular season, FC Cincinnati qualified for their first Champions Cup, while Cavalier qualified by way of their runner-up finish in the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Cup.

This means that two teams making their Champions Cup debut will meet in the first round of action, for the first time since the 2020 edition when New York City FC faced Costa Rica's San Carlos in the Round of 16.

In all four previous instances when Jamaican teams drew an MLS opponent in the Champions Cup, all were somehow pitted against DC United. This started in the 2005 quarterfinals, where DC United eliminated Harbour View 4-2 on aggregate with a pair of 2-1 victories.

Three years later in 2008, those same two sides met again in the quarterfinal round. Harbour View earned a 1-1 draw at home, but succumbed 5-0 away loss, as DC United won 6-1 on aggregate.

In the 2014-15 Champions Cup, Waterhouse was the Jamaican opponent for DC United in the group stage. DC United narrowly won that encounter 1-0 at home and then 2-1 in Jamaica on their way to group honours.

The following season in the 2015-16 group stage, DC United faced Montego Bay United, and again came out tops. DC United collected a 3-0 win at home and then rallied from a three-goal deficit to claim a 3-3 draw in Jamaica.

Thanks to DC United’s prowess, MLS teams have six wins and two draws against Jamaican opposition in the Champions Cup, a mark that will be put to the test by Cavalier against FC Cincinnati in next month’s fixture.

 

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