CONCACAF, Stop Placating to US and Mexican Teams

As the news broke on February 11th, 2019, CONCACAF expanded the field for the CONCACAF League. Unlike the previous two editions it would include an additional 6 spots (the best overall champions from Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama and an additional Caribbean spots).

One of the bad things that the new format makes is to minimize the amount of Central American teams that have a history of beating MLS and Liga MX teams. Some even have won the CONCACAF Champions League and have eliminated teams in the United States as well as in Mexico.

If CONCACAF wanted the tournament fair as they preach as this would do, make a tournament where each sub region (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) would each hold a tournament and from there the Champions League should start from and have it pegged to the CONCACAF ranking of national teams. This system is somewhat similar to what UEFA does with the Europa League and the Champions League.

My ideal change to this would be as it follows:

Automatic Qualified teams from North America

  • MLS Champion
  • Best overall Liga MX Champion

Tournament for North America

Top 4 teams in the tournament get in to the Champions League

  • MLS 2
  • MLS Supporters Shield winner (if it is the MLS Champion or US Open Cup Champion or Second Place then it would go to the Second place team in that conference)
  • US Open Cup Champion (if it is the MLS Champion then it would be second place but if it was the Supporters Shield winner then it would be the third best in the Supporters Shield winner’s conference)
  • Liga MX second best overall champion
  • Liga MX Apertura second place team
  • Liga MX Clausura second place team
  • Canadian Cup winner (if it is the MLS Champion or the Supporters Shield winner then the second place team)
  • Canadian Soccer League Champions (if they win the Canadian Cup then the second place team)

Tournament is a normal tournament style

Total spots in the tournament: 8

Total Spots in CONCACAF Champions League: 6

Automatic Qualified teams from Central America

  • Best overall Champions from: Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama (5)

Tournament for Central America

Top 3 qualify for the Champions League

  • Second overall Champions from: Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama
  • Best non-champion from: Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama
  • Best overall fourth place from Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Best overall fifth place from Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama
  • Best overall champion from Belize and Nicaragua

Tournament will include the following stages: Group Stage (four groups of five best team of each group qualify), Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Final

Total Spots in the tournament: 20

Total Spots in CONCACAF Champions League: 8

Caribbean Cup

 Qualified teams in the CONCACAF Champions League

  • Caribbean Cup winner
  • Caribbean Cup second place
  • Caribbean Cup third place
  • Caribbean Cup fourth place
  • Caribbean Shield winner
  • Caribbean Cup fifth place vs. Caribbean Shield second place playoff

Total spots in the CONCACAF Champions League: 6

Total in the CONCACAF Champions League: 20

CONCACAF Champions League Competition

Group Stage (two groups of 10 top four of each group qualify)

Two legged series

Round of 16 (pairs are paired up as best overall team vs worst qualified team and so on)

Quarterfinals (pairs are paired up as the best remaining seed vs worst remaining seed and so forth)

Semifinals (Winner of Quarterfinal 1 vs Winner of Quarterfinal 2)

Final (Single Leg like the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League and now the Copa Libertadores,  will be part of a bid where there cannot be a country hosting it and then it is eligible to bid again in two years after the final of the year it hosted, for instance if New York/New Jersey hosted it in 2020 then any city in the US can bid in 2022)

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