- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 29, 2008
- 0 Comments
Lots of talk yesterday about the new new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League which will kick up this August and last until next April. The new Champions League will replace the current club competition, the Champions’ Cup, which will see it’s final year in 2008.
The CONCACAF Champions League will see 24 teams from all areas of the CONCACAF region.
The CONCACAF Champions League will feature four teams from Mexico and USA; three Caribbean sides; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative coming from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua.
Eight clubs (two Mexican, two USA, one each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) will be seeded and progress directly to the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League, while the Caribbean slots have been increased to three teams for this event.
I will list the dates for you all below but I wanted to throw this out for everyone. I know some blogging mates of mine have mentioned this before but with the creation of this new tournament, that is expected to rival the Champions League of Europe and the Copa Libertadores of South America; is it already time for the recently created SuperLiga to be done with for good?
Sure, SuperLiga has nothing at all to do with this tournament and it is purely a money thing between the MLS and the Mexican league. But it is really all that necessary for what will probably be the same MLS clubs to have to play those games in the summer in the SuperLiga and then to have to play again during the prime-time of the season in September and October in the Champions League?
I think it is a bit much. MLS clubs are already stretched too thin as it is when it comes to other club competitions. Looks what the extra games did to the LA Galaxy this past season. Not to mention, MLS clubs already have to deal with the long MLS season, the US Open Cup and random friendlies that these clubs attract in the summer months while European clubs are in training for the new season.
Believe me I am all for this new style of tournament for CONCACAF, but I think the MLS needs to look at it’s priorities right now and cut out some fat in the middle with SuperLiga. I think after this year they will see that it isn’t worth the clubs time involved and the players. Sure it will make each club some more money to host an extra couple of games but when MLS clubs start to lose to random Caribbean clubs that they shouldn’t lose to I think it will prove to the league how thin each club is when it comes to these extra competitions.
I think play SuperLiga this season and then call it quits on the operation. It’s the sensible thing to do because this kind of tournament needs more respect than a million dollar screw fest with the league from south of the border. No offense to the Mexican league but the tournament really isn’t worth it for either side now that this kind of tournament is in place for both of them. It does the same kind of thing for each side, it just doesn’t have that cool payday at the end of it.
You will proably see DC, Houston, Chivas, and New England in this from the MLS. If some how LA is in this instead of one of these clubs, I will puke.
As promised here is the dates for the new CONCACAF Champions League:
End July: All qualification completed, draw for preliminary round
26-28 August: Preliminary Round, First-legs
2-4 September: Preliminary Round, Second-legs
Early September: Group Stage Schedule Announced
16-18 September: Group Stage – Match Day 1
23-25 September: Group Stage – Match Day 2
30 September – 2 October: Group Stage – Match Day 3
7-9 October: Group Stage – Match Day 4
21-23 October: Group Stage – Match Day 5
28-30 October: Group Stage – Match Day 6
24-26 February: Quarterfinals, First-legs
3-5 March: Quarterfinals, Second-legs
17-19 March: Semifinals, First-legs
7-9 April: Semifinals, Second-legs
21-23 April: Final, First-leg
28-30 April: Final, Second-leg
December: FIFA Club World Cup*
* The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as the CONCACAF’s representative to the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.