By - Overthehightides
And if no clear winner emerges from all of this, the two-man sack race will be held on consecutive Sundays until a champion can be crowned….
I do love me a Baseketball reference. I like you.
**BREAKDOWN OF NORTH AMERICAN BERTHS**
* **MLS (5)**: MLS Cup (gets a bye), Shield winner, other conference topper, next two best regular season records
* **Open Cup (1 or 0)**: Winner, or runner-up if winner holds a berth, or next-best MLS regular season team if runner-up holds a berth
* **Leagues Cup (3)**: Winner (gets a bye), runner-up, third-place
* **LMX (6)**: Apertura/Clausura champ with the better combined reg season record, the other champ, the two runners-up, and the two clubs with the next best reg season records
* **Canadian Championship (1)**: Winner, or runner-up if earned a berth via league (MLS or CPL), or "higher-ranked" semifinalist if runner-up also has earned a berth
* **CPL (2)**: Champion and best regular season record
Seems to me Canadian MLS teams should just be lumped in with US MLS teams. Wales decided to join the English FA pyramid, and Swansea doesn't get to go beat up on Welsh sides and punch a free ticket to the Champions League. The Canadian spots should be reserved for their domestic league
Isn't that what this change is doing? Canadian MLS teams qualify through MLS play now, and still get a chance through their domestic cup just like American MLS teams.
As far as I know, they have to qualify through the berths allocated to Canada.
That was the old process. The changes allow them to qualify through MLS league play now
This is a bit disingenuous as the winners of the Cymru Premier League enter in the first qualifying round. They need to win 4 home-away ties in order to make the tournament proper.
Wales is to England is not the same as Canada is to USA.
Canadian here and don't think it's a big deal especially with this new format. CPL teams can qualify through CPL and Canadian MLS teams can qualify through MLS. The CanChamp berth is just a bonus; the tournament is a lot of fun and I'm glad its winner gets something.
yeah but it basically means the canadian mls teams have a much easier path to the ccl than anyone else.
Vancouver got knocked out multiple times by CPL teams.
What's the difference between CanChamp and qualifying from the US Open Cup?
It’s pretty easy for a Canadian MLS team to win Voyageurs. It’s far less simple for a US MLS team to win Lamar Hunt.
The difference is that USOC has about 7x as many professional teams competing, plus the amateur sides.
I'm not overly worked up about it (sports aren't always fair), but it does baffle me a bit that so many people with Canadian team flair in here somehow don't think that difference means one of them is a much easier path to qualification.
It's a lot easier to win the CanChamp
Just some rough math to compare -
lets say, 80% of CanChamp's will be won by an MLS side (I think this is very conservative)
then lets say, due to the parity of the way MLS is structured, that in the **long run**, each of the three Canadian team has an equal chance to win the CanChamp each year.
80%\*1/3 = \~ 27% - so every 4 years or so Montreal (for example) can expect to go to the Champions League. My solution would be to have any club that plays in MLS also be eligible for the USOC like how Welsh sides that are part of the English FA play in their Cup tournaments
Bit late getting to this post, but my reaction is a "so what?"
It's not as if the berth would go to USA/MLS. It would just be CPL with three berths instead of two.
> Wales decided to join the English FA pyramid
This isn't accurate. *Five* Welsh clubs compete in the English football pyramid. (Not all Welsh clubs in existence)
Those 5 Welsh clubs also compete in the English FA Cup. Should Toronto FC compete in the U.S. Open? The vast majority of TFC supporters would be against that, and I assume the vast majority of American MLS supporters.
> Seems to me Canadian MLS teams should just be lumped in with US MLS teams.
They are for league play, just not for cup play. The Canadian MLS sides cannot play in the US Open Cup, they play in the Canadian Championship. Canadian MLS sides and Canadian Premier League (CPL) sides both have the opportunity to earn a berth through league play and the national cup. Nothing seems out of sorts with that to me.
I'm assuming they're likening it to how the Welsh teams in the English pyramid play in the FA cup rather than the Welsh equivalent, since MLS is the top of the US pyramid but not technically part of the Canadian pyramid. But I agree that it's not a big deal and works just fine.
Yes, I understood that. But the USSF isn't the FA and they've been inherently restrictive with the Canadian MLS sides.
Right, I agree it's an apples and oranges comparison.
Swansea was grandfathered in since it predates the Welsh football federation. Similarly , the MLS sides in Canada were formed before the development of the Canadian league system.
So you are saying that Union Omaha has a chance!
Raise the salary cap now you fuckers. MLS, Open Cup, Leagues Cup, CCL. How the hell can teams compete in all of these things without real depth?
Think of how the CPL is going to manage with a salary cap of 750,000-850,000.
The CPL salary cap hasn't gone up every year. I'm doubtful we will see it raised enough by the start of this competition for CPL teams to be competitive in it as well.
Oops confused that with the salary minimum...
>CPL teams beat ~~MLS sides~~ Vancouver
They can't but the cheap owners unfortunately have just as many votes as the rich ones when it comes to these kinds of things...
Open cup is wildly less important than the others you listed but yes i agree
Leagues Cup is more important than Open Cup?
To me yeah and to any casual MLS fan too. Only Reddit dweebs (like us) care about the open cup. That’s why open cup games at mls stadiums have like 5,000 people in attendance. Leagues cup has sellouts
Interesting, thanks for sharing your perspective! For Seattle we play our USOC games in a smaller stadium but that kinda adds to the charm IMO. Even though we made it to the League’s Cup final last year, I didn’t see anyone really taking it seriously. I’d put it similar to a Community Shield in terms of importance but I guess that’s changing
Does MLS increase the Salary Cap for teams that qualify?
With so many games played between Regular Season, USOC, CCL, Leagues Cup & ICC team depth will play a critical role.
Right now, no. A slight boost in GAM but the wooden spoon team gets more still.
The GMs and product strategy committee are looking into it though
> A slight boost in GAM but the wooden spoon team gets more still.
Am I right in remembering it's about 250,000?
I honestly do not recall. Where is Sam and Paul when you need them
No, I think they just increase the international roster spot.
But Salary cap have nothing to do with CL, if your team qualified. It's an international competition. It's not like UEFA financial fair play.
So you can sign a player like Messi and pay him for MLS contact and have the CL bonuses clauses im assuming.
Still waiting on specifics for the Leagues Cup groupings.
I’m pretty sure they are copying the 2026 WC groupings.
The 2026 WC is a 48-team tournament but MLS+Liga MX is only 47 teams. So to use the WC format they'll either need to find an extra team somewhere or just run one group a team short. The problem with the latter option is that in the WC the top two teams from each group advance, and that would be pretty silly if one of the groups only had two teams to begin with.
I wonder if they’ll invite a team outside mls and ligamx - one time only type deal. Maybe Saprissa? Probably not.
imo one of the underrated things about concacaf is how willing they are to accommodate MLS and Liga MX. they scrapped their original expanded champions league idea when they wanted to expanded the leagues cup and even gave them spots in the champions league. i think this is probably the best format for everyone around, only real issue i have with it is the effect on fixture congestion, but at most this would only add two more matches to a teams season, it’s the leagues cup that has a bigger effect. also overlapping qualifying spots could get weird but we’ll see how that’ll get sorted out.
I’m hoping only the inaugural Leagues Cup does this “all teams” thing. After that they need to make it more like a Europa League.
They accommodate because CCL is a bad deal for LigaMX and MLS. They subsidize the continent and get little other than prestige in return.
LigaMX and MLS should have just withdrawn and enjoyed league's cup.
But the CWC expansion pressure from FIFA probably means they are stuck. If CWC would just die, CCL could go where it belongs. Irrelevance.
They should scrap leagues cup and create a europa or sudamericana equivalent. International competition should be earned not given.
Meh. Pretending like all the leagues in a federation are equal is bizarre.
Who does that? In south america Argentina and Brazil get double or more teams than other countries and also more byes for first rounds. UEFA also allocates more berths to the top leagues.
Nah. Soccer should just be fun. Who cares how they structure it.
BRING BACK GROUP STAGE YOU COWARDS
~~The Round One is a group stage, isnt it?~~
Just realized they changed the format again and removed the group stage for a round of 32 (round 1)
>round of 32
Technically it's a round of 22, which will be reduced to 11 and then join the 5 teams with byes for a round of 16.
It seems it might copy 2026 WC with groups of 3 since both tournaments will have 48 teams (well if the 30th franchise will participate).
Lol as long as they don’t copy the new UEFA champions league I’m happy.
I agree. Let's keep the away goals rule.
This is the real issue.
"The three Canadian MLS clubs will be eligible to qualify for the CCL through league play for the first time."
Really happy with that change.
Disagree - the Canadian MLS teams already had the easiest path to CCL qualifying (1 spot for 3 Canadian MLS teams vs. 4 spots for 25+ US MLS teams).
Nah, qualification needed to change at this point with the CPL earning league berths. If a CPL side can earn a berth through league play and National Cup, and US MLS sides can earn a berth through league play and National Cup, then Canadian MLS sides should as well.
The difference though is that your league cup involves 13 teams, while ours involves 103, its a bit more difficult to win it.
In essence, Canada has 3 teams in MLS and I'm assuming 2 of them will probably be in CCL every year. There are gonna be 26 American MLS teams and only about 6-8 of them will be in CCL every year. That doesn't really seem fair
> The difference though is that your league cup involves 13 teams, while ours involves 103, its a bit more difficult to win it.
Bit disingenuous this, the MLS sides enter in the third round and later. At that point there are 48 teams, 32 if they enter the next round as some do. Meaning for a US MLS side, they can win as few as 5 matches and be crowned US Open Champion. For the Canadian Championship, its 4 matches.
>In essence, Canada has 3 teams in MLS and I'm assuming 2 of them will probably be in CCL every year.
Use todays qualification methods and look historically, you'll see how rare this is. Much more likely the norm will be a single side from the Canadian Championship.
>For the Canadian Championship, its 4 matches.
Based on current format, 3 or 4 depending if they have a bye to QF. But, could increase to 4 depending on how the format changes as more teams enter
But Canada is better at soccer than the USA
Canadian teams have consistently performed well in the CCL. Haven’t done the math, but I would feel pretty confident the CAN1 spot has outperformed the USA 3/4 spots. 2 final appearances in the current CCL iteration vs just 3 for the US with 4x the slots.
Small sample size yada yada yada, but the point is Canadian teams earned the extra spots on the field. The CPL teams have also shown that they can compete with the UNCAF sides, so if UNCAF (45M) gets 6 spots, Canada (37M) getting 3+ is pretty reasonable.
Just to add to this, over the past decade 4 MLS teams have made it to a CCL final, 2 of them were Canadian.
Pre-2022, the CAN1 berth was ranked 6th based on past performance (behind MEX2, MEX1, MEX3, USA3, and USA2, but ahead of USA1, USA4, and MEX4).
Edit: per my calculations though CAN1 will fall to 8th next year after being surpassed by USA1 (NYCFC) and USA4 (Seattle) based on 2022 CCL performances. Will still be seeded for the draw ahead of the 4th Mexican team
Suuuuuuuuuper long overdue.
Now watch us be shit for another decade.
Canada deserves it, they didn’t kick asses during qualifying for less lol.
John Brooks died for this.
RIP, he’s in our hearts and minds.
MLS nerds are enjoying all the permutations of how their teams can qualify!
Could some great a bracket based off of the 2022 results if we had this format? Just to see what teams would have made it.
If this format was used in 2022 the following teams would have qualified from the North American zone:
* NYCFC (MLS Cup)
* New England Revolution (Supporters Shield)
* Colorado Rapids (winner of other conference)
* Seattle Sounders (next-best regular season record)
* Sporting Kansas City (next-best regular season record)
* León (Apertura champion)
* UNAM (Apertura runner-up)
* Cruz Azul (Clausura champion)
* Santos Laguna (Clausura runner-up)
* Club America (next-best regular season record)
* Monterrey (next-best regular season record)
* TBD [winner León already qualified through Liga MX]
* TBD [runner-up Seattle Sounders already qualified through MLS]
* TBD [no third-place match played]
* Pacific FC (playoff champion)
* Forge FC (regular season champion)
US Open Cup
* TBD [tournament was not played in 2021]
* CF Montreal (winner)
As placeholders, the top 6 Central American teams from the CONCACAF League were:
* 🇬🇹 Comunicaciones
* 🇭🇳 Motagua
* 🇬🇹 Guastatoya
* 🇨🇷 Saprissa
* 🇨🇷 Santos de Guapiles
* 🇭🇳 Marathón
And, the top 3 teams from the Caribbean Club Championship were:
* 🇭🇹 Cavaly
* 🇸🇷 Inter Moengotapoe
* 🇵🇷 Metropolitan
That kind of raises this issue
*Leagues Cup (three) - First (bye), second and third-place finishers.*
*Concacaf hasn’t determined how to handle Leagues Cup qualifiers that also earn CCL invites via domestic play. One possibility is to award the extra berth to the next-best regular-season team in that qualifier’s league (i.e. if the Supporters’ Shield winner finishes second in Leagues Cup, another MLS club gets that spot). It could also trickle down to the fourth semifinalist if that team hasn't qualified otherwise.*
This is a joke given your example showing that only one of the teams would even plausibly use the three slots. So, like half of Liga MX and MLS teams will be qualifying. "Champions" is a very very loose term.
I like the format but I think MLS and Liga MX berths should be 4 each. Not including the US Open Cup and whatever cup Mexico has.
MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, MLS Cup runners-up, Regular season winner from other conference.
Liga MX Apertura and Clasura winners with the runners up from each.
If anything I’d give CPL an extra berth going to the regular season 2nd best team.
What they should do: give the spots to the next best teams in the Leagues cups (use GD or whatever other metric if necessary).
What they probably do: Give the spot to the next best Liga MX/MLS team in the regular season.
Either way they do it will likely mean like half of LigaMX and MLS make it.
Far less a Champions league and more of a "everyone who doesn't suck terribly" league.
So does the reigning champ not get direct qualification?
Wish they would fix that.
I like the expansion. But this is among a few baffling issues.
They should take away the third Leagues Cup berth to make that happen.
So let me get this straight. You think that the third place team in the tier 2 tournament is less deserving than the winner of the tier 1 tournament? That’s crazy talk!!!
>The Open Cup is the only avenue through which a USL Championship, USL League One, NISA or American amateur side can reach the CCL.
This remains a big problem and I don't see it being discussed anywhere beyond some annoying jerk on Reddit. Also, WTF:
>If the Open Cup winner qualifies via MLS or the Leagues Cup, the tournament runner-up will go to the CCL. If that team also holds multiple CCL slots, **the Open Cup will cede its allocation to the next-best MLS regular-season team**.
Is it a big problem because CPL got 2 berths? Otherwise, the cup competitions are usually the only way for lower league sides to get in in most countries.
To be clear, not trolling, just wondering if CPL is where your concern comes in here.
CPL is a first division league, they should get league-path berths. The issue is that this new qualification potentially removes the cup competition path if both USOC finalists have already qualified for the CCL. (i.e. if NYCFC and the Red Bulls both meet for the USOC final, and NYCFC win MLS Cup and the Red Bulls win the Supporters Shield, there is no CCL spot for the USOC that year, meaning a lower-division club has literally no path for CCL qualification).
You do realize this is actually an expansion of access for USL and other lower league teams, right? Right now it’s win the Open Cup or nothing. Now there are scenarios where being a finalist can provide a path.
I do realize that. My premise isn't that this is a reduction. My premise is that they're choosing to revise it and keep a shitty system instead of opening it further.
No I know that, I'm just clarifying if that's Heinz's beef.
Yeah, I know, I just think CPL isn't his issue. His issue is the fact that the cup competition path is being taken away from the lower-division sides, not whether CPL has spots.
>is being taken away from the lower-division sides
What was the previous rule for what happens when the US Open Cup 1&2 already qualified? And has it ever happened?
I believe previously the USOC winner gets their slot, then if they qualify by other means then that spot goes to the next best MLS regular season team. This is actually an expansion of potential "slots" for USOC.
So this is complaining on principle then.
Yeah but I kinda get it. Given the opportunity to expand the slots for U.S. teams all the extra slots are going to MLS teams with no way for teams outside of the closed system to get a slot except through USOC. And even then it's locked to the top two teams and taken away if those two qualify by other means.
Now, I'm not saying they were wrong with the way they divvied up the slots, it all makes sense to me and lost division teams have a clear route to qualification, but I can get why someone outside MLS would complain about the allocation.
Previous rule was the berth goes to the next highest placed team on the Shield table. Giving the runners up the spot is actually pretty uncommon for national cups. It's great that they're doing this but i also want the spot to pass to another semifinalist if both winner and runner up already qualified
No I don't think you're trolling, it's a common question that deserves explanation. Doesn't have to do with the CPL comparison, no, that's that country's first division after all.
Basically, in countries with promotion and relegation, that constitutes a league path to continental play - if you're in the second division or third or what have you, you gotta promote to the first in order to qualify for continental play via the league. Your games still "matter" in that context.
We don't have that here, meaning there is currently no *league path* for non-MLS clubs. Now, pro/rel would be great, but we all know it's not gonna happen. So maybe instead of MLS 5 berths, it could be MLS 4 and the lower leagues 1? Or even 4.5/0.5 (do a playoff between the lowest MLS qualifier and the champs)?
If I could make my argument to the USSF, it'd be that it's okay to give the non-MLS teams (which now represent a majority of men's pro clubs here) some table scraps.
Of course, my *ideal* would be PLS reform so the USL could do pro/rel in an alternate pyramid running alongside MLS's closed system so we could have the best of both worlds, and tying the USL Premier TV contract to USMNT/USWNT TV distribution the way MLS was for so long so there's some TV money to fuel investment, but that's another discussion altogether.
>Basically, in countries with promotion and relegation, that constitutes a league path to continental play - if you're in the second division or third or what have you, you gotta promote to the first in order to qualify for continental play via the league. Your games still "matter" in that context
Sounds great but how do you tell the top two leagues in CONCACAF who are closed leagues to change their mind?
>tying the USL Premier TV contract to USMNT/USWNT TV distribution the way MLS was for so long so there's some TV money to fuel investment
You'd have to kidnap Mickey Mouse himself to get that to happen
Nah, ESPN would probably be interested, given they're a long term partner to the USL.
We're talking about broadcast time on ESPN or even ABC as MLS had back in the day when they basically had to pay their way in. That's far different than ESPN+ and then a few odd games on ESPN2.
I mean if they're interested, they can just do it without the US rights tie in thing. But it would be funny to see the USL try to step in front of ESPN now and broker USMNT rights to force their way into ESPN/ABC broadcasts.
I see your point. I'm a pro/rel agnostic tbh but I'm all for keeping clubs ambitious.
Yeah, that's baffling - give the spot to the semifinalist who had the best GD, followed by most GF, followed by least GA, etc. Use tie-breakers. Why get rid of the berth entirely? It's literally the only existing path for CCL for lower-division clubs.
I agree with you but are we even sure 2D and below teams have the money to travel abroad multiple times?
US Soccer has to subsidize them for US Open Cup
*US Soccer reimburses travel expenses an away team may have, from flights, hotels, transportation, and meals. For each match from the First Round to the Semifinals, US Soccer will provide up to $13,000 per team per match for a traveling party of up to 26 people. This is an increase from 2019, which was $12,000 for a traveling party of up to 24 people. There has also been an increase in the travel reimbursement for the Final. The visiting team now receives $22,500 for a two-night stay or $27,500 for a three-night stay, for up to 32 people in the traveling party. Those numbers used to be $20,000 and $25,000 for 30 people.*
Which is basically why MLS teams end up hosting, because they then end up paying all the costs of running the facility AND end up subsidizing the travel.
I love US Open Cup, but man people are delusional about the costs.
$27,500 is not going to cover all the costs of 20+ people going to Central America.
Good info, thx
PLS dictates that owners of D2 teams are worth $20M+ independent of team ownership and D3 owners are worth $10M+ independent of team ownership, I think they're okay, tbh.
Well I'd take a league path no matter what form it takes. Pro/rel, direct berth, a playoff. Trying not to be an ideologue about it y'know?
Also, why does the Canadian Championship get to give its berth to a semifinalist/trickle down internally and the Open Cup doesn't?
Because it would pretty much be saying, that if both of Canada's MLS teams are already qualified, then the third gets to go too no matter what record they had. They could have zero wins in the prior season and still get to go.
We are normally on opposite sides of lower league stuff but this time I agree. That birth should have a trickle down effect.
>If the Open Cup winner qualifies via MLS or the Leagues Cup, the tournament runner-up will go to the CCL. If that team also holds multiple CCL slots, **the Open Cup will cede its allocation to the next-best MLS regular-season team**
Has this ever happened before? (that both USOC Champ and runner-up were already qualified by other means in the same year)
This is such bullshit. A league’s performance shouldn’t factor into the USOC CCL spot ever.
I have a hard time believing MLS asked for that. They already have more slots than teams that want to play in the damn thing. I have no evidence, but I really bet that it is a business decision that lower leagues don't want to get suddenly saddled with it in November.
Not so sure about that. Plenty of USLC and USL1 teams are chomping at the bit for the chance. Also the USL league office would throw money at whatever teams would qualify. Though not saying MLS asked for this either, it could have been a USSF decision alone.
>and USL1 teams are chomping at the bit for the chance
I would need a source about this one. Margins are tiny if existent at all in lower league soccer. And playing Independiente or whatever isn't going to make a difference financially. There was already a complaint in the USL sub that Omaha hasn't been able to capitalize off their historic USOC run. I would like to hear from owners who believe that this added expense is worth it to them.
Well, the USL league office was pushing for a CONCACAF league berth only 18 months ago (might have been 2020 pre COVID), so I take that as evidence clubs want the opportunity.
USL loves to say things to increase its image that it knows fully well have no chance of happening for business reasons.
You aren’t wrong, Edwards loves to bluster. However if given the chance to compete in CCL, then the league would leap at the chance. For the reason you mentioned, it would increase league prestige.
I could maybe be convinced that USLC would. Far less about 1. It doesn't make sense at all from what we see financially and I would worry about teams dropping out.
Here is the source for USL generally.
I agree that Edwards is different than owners on this one. The owners don't want to the outlay. Edwards is trying to promote the league.
That makes sense. This is like when the NASL was talking about pro/rel until suddenly the owners were like....ehhh no.
I really really have a hard time believing this as most of them complain about the cost of travel for US Open Cup.
And you know me, I would rather MLS just withdraw from the entire stupid CCL and then the lower divisions could have at it flying their entire team into some small Panamanian city for the cost of two to three times the league minimum salary of their players in their offseason.
More power to them.
I think Forward Madison, Union Omaha, Greenville, and North Carolina would certainly go for it. Charlotte and CRW, probably not. No idea on the others.
If USL clubs are qualifying every year, then they might be complaining about the travel, but once every few years I think they will welcome it.
The league was pushing hard for a CONCACAF League berth after all.
So you are mad that the 3/4 place Open Cup teams are not getting the allocation in the rare chance that the winner and runner up both have CCL slots already?
I guess that is rough, but how do you pick between 3/4? (someone else mentioned tiebreakers. Okay I suppose)
You want a required playoff game or third place game for that extremely unlikely situation just to add the even more unlikely possibility that a non-MLS team was in 3/4 position at the exact time the runner up and winner had other CCL slots?
Also. Yawn. Start winning Open Cups regularly and maybe all the other tiers/leagues will need more consideration.
If we are really honest, most of those other league teams can't even afford the cost of say playing in Panama midweek.
>You want a required playoff game or third place game for that extremely unlikely situation just to add the even more unlikely possibility that a non-MLS team was in 3/4 position at the exact time the runner up and winner had other CCL slots?
I mean, yes. A playoff game to decide CCL qualification would actually be pretty hype, not gonna lie. Or if we don't want to add fixture congestion, then yes, just use tiebreakers.
It makes zero sense fundamentally to remove the only existing path for lower-division qualification to the CCL because two finalists happen to qualify via other means. Why do that? What's the point of then taking that qualification spot and assigning it to an entirely separate competition?
Probably because by the time you figure out the MLS qualifiers in November, the lower league team hasn't been able to budget and plan for it. So they have a quick 3-4 months to figure out how to afford to travel to Central America.
There are clubs that can afford it - you're in this discussion with a Cosmos fan, as an example. Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, New Mexico, Louisville, Miami, Indy, San Antonio, San Diego, Sacramento, etc. could all easily pay for CCL. You're using a logical fallacy of removing a potential outcome on the basis of an entirely separate problem that has to be solved for with separate solutions.
The possibility of qualification via sporting accomplishment shouldn't be removed because you think they can't pay for it. If it turns out they can't, then they can cede the qualification spot and it can be allocated to a team that can in whatever method USSF chooses.
*via sporting accomplishment*
Except in the situation where they get it because another team can't afford it...
Also, being the next best MLS team isn't a sporting accomplishment, because MLS or something.
The point being if you're handing it to a team further down a competition, why not hand it to a team further down the competition the berth was originally assigned to? Why hand it to a team further down a completely different competition? And you still dodged the point: You can't remove the possibility of something over the negative possibility of something else, that's ridiculous.
Did they remove it? Was it ever actually an option?
You can call it a negative possibility, but there are probably lower leagues with input in this saying that there is little to no business reality that makes them want that slot.
You're def right that no one's gonna go for further fixture congestion just to decide third place, but u/Coltons13 mentioned other ways to use tie-breakers which at that point would be fair (it's not like a team that lost would have room to complain).
> Also. Yawn. Start winning Open Cups regularly and maybe all the other tiers/leagues will need more consideration.
I get you don't care, but the majority of clubs in the US are getting hosed here, and they'd be in a better position to JuSt WiN tHe OpEn CuP if investment outside MLS were incentivized rather than shunned.
Yeah, that would be a solution.
I do think the reality here is that while pro/rel advocates love the theory that their team could go on to play in CCL, the financial reality is crippling. The US Open Cup still regionalizes its play largely for financial reasons. Again, what are there, like 5 teams in all of the lower leagues that could even afford the expense of losing in CCL?
It's a catch-22. The more open the system, the more investment lower down the totem pole, the better their infrastructure; BUT, if we say we won't open the system until you prove you win this or do X-Y-Z...
I mean you guys are arguing that losing a specific game (a semi-final) in the specific situation where 1st and 2nd also are in the top 5 in MLS should be an ambition for a team so that they can probably lose money getting to Central America and then playing a home game in their offseason with crappy weather.
Hardcore fans love the theoretical matchups. The business end makes very little if any sense.
So basically MLS Cup winner and the top 4 MLS teams. Liga MX Apertura/Clasura winners and the next best 4. Leagues cup top 3 teams (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Nice to see Canada have 3 berths outside of MLS play.
I'm curious, seeing the Caribbean qualification path, why only 4 countries participate. Other nations don't have a domestic league or it is not up to a certain standard?
Only the Jamaican, Haitian, Trinidadian, and Dominican leagues are currently considered "professional" by CONCACAF. They will each qualify two teams to the Caribbean Cup.
The other ("amateur") Caribbean leagues are not shown on the graphic but will collectively qualify two teams to round out the Cup at 12. This will likely be done through a secondary tournament like currently exists with the Caribbean Club Shield.
I reallly think CONCACAF should propose an intercountry pyramid amongst countries with smaller leagues. You could put 3 or 4 countries together and make CCL both more competitive more fun to have a Union Omaha of the Carribean make it into the tourney
I'm of the opinion that the Caribbean should have one pyramid between it. They've had multiple attempts to try just to create a professional league in the caribbean, particularly in the 1990s, but none of them have ever really worked. The most recent proposal has literally sat dormant for 2 years since the initial announcement of a working group for its development.
I think financially and size wise one would be too small. The Carribean is a large area and there are small leagues and clubs that wouldnt be able to foot the bill of traveling from say Turks and Caicos or the Bahamas to Suriname or Curacao
Ah, so there is a path. I was confused because I thought I saw a team from Suriname in the caribbean final a year or so ago
Almost every Caribbean island has a league. Most of them are so bad, quality wise, that it would simply not be worth it to have them involved except against other Caribbean teams. There's a reason why the Caribbean has basically always been separated from North and Central America, competition wise, and that's because they just aren't very good...
They are all amateur leagues. The four mentioned are pro-level.
This is great, so many more opportunities for canadian and US clubs
Not to mention Central America and Carribean. They have a lot more chances to make it past round 1.
Not really, TBH. The Central American teams will have the same number of berths as the CONCACAF League now (which has almost always just been Central American teams, save a CPL team in '22 and a Haitian team in '21). Their share of berths will fall from 6/16 to 6/27.
The Caribbean teams will have three berths, which is an improvement over their current 1, but less of a jump when you consider share (1/16 -> 3/27). The 2nd and 3rd best Caribbean teams also aren't very likely to go deep in the competition.
What's actually most interesting to me is the single-game "neutral site" final - that packed Lumen Field last month might have been MLS' last opportunity to show off a packed stadium primarily made up of the MLS club's supporters.
From now on we'll see either Mexican stadiums that are basically home games for one of the finalists, or an MLS SSS-du-jour where they work hard to try and sell tickets to locals who don't care (and end up reselling them online to Liga MX club fans), or a cavernous Jerry-World-type facility that ends up half full.
As a precedent, the last Leagues Cup final in LV was predominantly Leon fans and the upper deck largely empty, and that was even with a stadium relatively easy to get to for one of MLS's largest fanbases.
I hope we get an all MLS final but it will not look good at a neutral venue
Can't wait for CF Montréal vs Saprissa in Miami
Countries that do not have prorel should put all of their slots in the domestic cup change my mind
Mexico doesn't actually have Pro/Rel
Countries = USA, Mexico and Canada
Mexico's domestic cup doesn't even have a pathway for D3.
Am I the only one bothered by the two slots going to MLS for "next best record?" as opposed to the conference runners-up? If we're playing unbalanced schedules between the conferences it seems fair to look at standings that way.
this seems overly complicated to me. why get rid of CONCACAF League just to have Leagues Cup, Central American Cup and Caribbean Cup separately? why not just expand Leagues Cup to be the secondary CONCACAF tournament? 4 clubs from Liga MX and MLS is more than enough in my opinion. i want to see more of the other nations. seems like they could have simplified things by increasing the amount of clubs per nation and not all these other competitions.
is Campeones Cup still a thing?
Everybody wants to be the Sounders, but take the easy route instead. You guys. Seattle will still dominate you all. It's what we do.