CONCACAF CL: Ah, Canada…

File this under things I shouldn’t mention, but I don’t always thoroughly read all the items to which I link. Shocking, I know. And it’s possible you may have noticed this….hopefully not, though.

Personal issues notwithstanding, I finally read the announcement on the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League closely enough to catch an interesting detail:

“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.”

Now, I don’t know enough about the professional game in Belize or Nicaragua (or even amateur game, for that matter), but I know enough about Canadian soccer for the bit in bold to have me scratch my head a little. My first thought went along the lines of, “Toronto FC gets an annual automatic bid? WTF?”

That would be silly, of course, and the Canadian(?) powers-that-be appreciated this. Canada’s spot will go to either Toronto FC or one of the Big Canadian Guns from the United Soccer Leagues Division 1, the Vancouver Whitecaps or the Montreal Impact (or L’Impact de Montreal…or is it du Montreal?). The precise format for qualification hasn’t yet been finalized, but this is a cool idea generally. Cool enough that I almost want to be Canadian. I mean, imagine the number of MLS clubs the Portland Timbers would have climb over to reach the same exhilarating pinnacle.

One last thing: they better get as much of this Champions League business on TV as they can…dammit.

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Super-Krunk: CONCACAF Champions League Announced

Once again, the official site gets beat to the punch: Goal.com just posted the schedule for the brand-spankin’ CONCACAF Champions League. I have to say, it’s a bit burlier than I thought it’d be: the tourney kicks off August 2008, but the final doesn’t come until the end of April 2009. Fortunately, at least where the Major League Soccer (MLS) sides are concerned, there’s a several-month down-time that just happens to correspond with the MLS off-season. Rather unfortunately, however, MLS teams will hit “the shit” when the tourney resumes in February – e.g. that’s when the quarterfinals will be played, aka after the make-weights have been sifted out. So, show up frosty, boys, it’s gonna be real.

Speaking of those MLS teams, who should they be this year? Steve Goff provides:

“*CONCACAF will unveil details of the first Champions League today. From what I have been able to gather, Chivas USA (Western regular season winners) and New England (MLS Cup runner-up) will enter in the preliminary round in August while D.C. United (Supporters’ Shield) and Houston (MLS Cup champions) will start in the group stage in the fall. We’ll know for sure later.”

If you want to know how the rest of the field will fill in, check Goal.com’s report. Holy poop, is this going to be a hoot!