Manchester City's Subsidiary Club Kicks Off Copa Libertadores 2022: Here Is How To Watch It

The tuxedo is out of the closet once again. This time it's to welcome a new edition of Copa Libertadores. Palmeiras (Brazil) has won the last two championships, and the logical question is who will be the team that will challenge its dominance?

The tournament will kick off Tuesday, Feb. 8, with the match between Montevideo City Torque (Uruguay) vs. Barcelona SC (Ecuador) for the first of three qualifying rounds before the group stage.

Barcelona SC — not related with the Spanish giants — has a long history in the competition, but that is not the case for Montevideo City Torque, a team that will play in the Copa Libertadores for the first time. 

The club was founded just 15 years ago, but it's becoming slowly more notorious after the Manchester City Group bought it in 2017. At the time, Torque was in the Uruguayan second division but quickly got its promotion. Despite the team being relegated the following season, they bounced back and already played their first Copa Sudamericana (2021), and now they are ready for their first Copa Libertadores.

The recipe for success around Montevideo City Torque is not a secret. The money is coming from Abu Dhabi and the club is trying to challenge Peñarol and Nacional, the two biggest teams in Uruguay. The team hasn't collected any trophies yet, but young players are becoming more inclined to try their luck in Torque's fancy training grounds. 

And let's face it, it's not easy to say no when Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Bernardo Silva are inviting you to a training camp. 

That Montevideo pronunciation needs some work, Kevin.

There's also no secret in the club's goal: to develop new stars in its Academy and strengthen young players in general before selling them or moving them around the City Group. One example of this modus operandi is Valentín Castellanos, who after playing a few games in Torque signed with New York City FC (another club in the family) to become MLS's top scorer.

Copa Libertadores first qualifying round 

But this Copa Libertadores is not only about Montevideo City Torque. The games for the first round are: 

  • E1, Feb. 8: Montevideo Torque (Uruguay) vs. Barcelona SC (Ecuador), 7:30 p.m. ET.
  • E2, Feb. 9: Deportivo Lara (Venezuela) vs. Bolívar (Bolivia), 5:15 p.m. ET.
  • E3, Feb. 9: Universidad César Vallejo (Perú) vs. Olimpia (Paraguay), 7:30 p.m. ET.

The second-leg games are scheduled for Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

What's next?

The three winners of the first round will go to a second stage, where there are already 13 teams qualified. The bracket for this instance is already out:

  • C1, Feb. 22 and Mar. 1: Millonarios (Colombia) vs. Fluminense (Brasil).
  • C2, Feb. 23 and Mar. 2: Audax Italiano (Chile) vs. Estudiantes (Argentina).
  • C3, Feb. 23 and Mar. 2: Winner E2 vs. Universidad Católica (Ecuador).
  • C4, Feb. 23 and Mar. 2: América Mineiro (Brasil) vs. Guaraní (Paraguay).
  • C5, Feb. 23 and Mar. 2: Winner E1 vs. Universitario (Perú)
  • C6, Feb. 22 and Mar. 1: Plaza Colonia (Uruguay) vs. The Strongest (Bolivia).
  • C7, Feb. 22 and Mar. 1: Everton (Chile) vs. Monagas (Venezuela).
  • C8, Feb. 24 and Mar. 3: Winner E3 vs. Atlético Nacional (Colombia).

Finally, the eight winners of this round will go to one last qualifying series. The exact dates of those matches are not locked, but they will be between March 8 and March 17. 

  • G1: Winner C1 vs. Winner C8.
  • G2: Winner C2 vs. Winner C7.
  • G3: Winner C3 vs. Winner C6.
  • G4: Winner C4 vs. Winner C5.

The four survivors will join the group stage, where 28 other teams are already waiting. Those teams are:

Alianza Lima (Perú), Always Ready (Bolivia), Athletico Paranaense (Brazil), Atlético Mineiro (Brazil), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Caracas (Venezuela), Cerro Porteño (Paraguay), Colo Colo (Chile), Colón de Santa Fe (Argentina), Corinthians (Brazil), Deportes Tolima (Colombia), Deportivo Cali (Colombia), Deportivo Táchira (Venezuela), Emelec (Ecuador), Flamengo (Brazil), Fortaleza (Brazil), Independiente del Valle (Ecuador), Independiente Petrolero (Bolivia), Libertad (Paraguay), Nacional (Uruguay), Palmeiras (Brazil), Peñarol (Uruguay), Red Bull Bragantino (Brazil), River Plate (Argentina), Sporting Cristal (Perú), Talleres de Córdoba (Argentina), Universidad Católica (Chile) y Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina).

The draw for the group stage will be on March 23.

How to watch Copa Libertadores 2022 in the U.S.? 

All the games, including this week's qualifying matches, will be available through beIN Sports and fuboTV. 

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