2019 CONCACAF League and 2020 Champions League

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by newtex, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    The 2019 CONCACAF League and 2020 CONCACAF Champions League are going to change.
    The 2019 CONCACAF League will increase to 22 teams with a qualifying round in July. The 5 Central American champions will now have to start in the CL instead of going straight into the CCL. The Canadian Premier League will also get a team into the CL.

    Only 10 teams will qualify directly to the 2020 CCL: 4 Mexico, 4 USA, the Canadian Championship winner and the Caribbean Football Union Champion. The other six will be the 2019 CL winner and the next five best teams from that tournament.
    ElNaranja repped this.
  2. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    The CL field is complete. The CCL field has a ways to go.

    2019 CONCACAF League

    Preliminary Round
    CRC3: Saprissa (Best aggregate record non-champion)
    HON3: Marathon (Best aggregate record non-champion)
    PAN3: San Francisco (Best aggregate record non-champion)
    SLV2: Santa Tecla (2018 Apertura winner)
    SLV3: Aguila (Best aggregate record non-champion)
    GUA2: Antigua GFC (2019 Clausura winner)
    GUA3: Communicaciones (Best aggregate record non-champion)
    NCA2: Real Esteli (2019 Clausura winner)
    BLZ1: Belmopan Bandits (Champion with better aggregate record)
    CFU3: Capoise (HAI) (2019 Caribbean Club third place)
    CFU4: Robinhood (SUR) (2019 Caribbean Club playoff)
    CAN2: Forge FC (CPL qualification winner)

    Round of 16
    CRC1: San Carlos (2019 Clausura winner)
    CRC2: Herediano (2018 Apertura winner)
    HON1: Motagua (2018 Apertura winner)
    HON2: Olimpia (2019 Clausura winner)
    PAN1: Tauro (2018 Apertura winner)
    PAN2: Independiente (2019 Clausura winner)
    SLV1: Alianza (2018 Apertura winner)
    GUA1: CD Guastatoya (2018 Apertura winner)
    NCA1: Managua (2018 Apertura winner)
    CFU2: Waterhouse (JAM) (2019 Caribbean Club runner-up)

    The Preliminary Round is in July. The Round of 16 starts in August.

    2020 CONCACAF Champions League

    MEX1: Club America (2018 Apertura winner)
    MEX2: Tigres UANL (2019 Clausura winner)
    MEX3: Cruz Azul (2018 Apertura runner-up)
    MEX4: Leon (2019 Clausura runner-up)
    USA1: TBD (2019 MLS Cup winner)
    USA2: TBD (2019 MLS Supporter Shield winner)
    USA3: TBD (2019 MLS other conference winner)
    USA4: TBD (2019 U.S. Open Cup winner)
    CAN1: TBD (2019 Canadian Champion)
    CFU1: Portmore Utd (JAM) (2019 Caribbean Club Champion)
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 1st
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 2nd
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 3rd
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 4th
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 5th
    CL: 2019 CONCACAF League 6th
  3. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    2019 CONCACAF League pairings:

    Preliminary Round, July 2019
    First team listed hosts the 2nd leg.
    PR1: (PAN3) San Francisco v. (SLV1) Alianza
    PR2: (CFU3) Capoise(HAI) v. (CFU4) Robinhood (SUR)
    PR3: (CRC3) Saprissa v. (BLZ1) Belmopan Bandits
    PR4: (GUA2) Antigua GFC v. (CAN2) Forge FC
    PR5: (HON3) Marathon v. (GUA3) Comunicaciones
    PR6: (SLV2) Santa Tecla v. (NCA2) Real Esteli

    Round of 16, August 2019
    First team listed hosts the 2nd leg.
    (HON1) Motagua v. (NCA1) Managua (NCA1)
    (CRC2) Herediano v. (CFU2) Waterhouse (JAM)
    (CRC1) San Carlos v. winner PR6
    (PAN1) Tauro v. winner PR1
    (PAN2) Independiente v. winner PR2
    (SLV1) Aguila v. winner PR3
    (GUA1) Guastatoya v. winner PR5
    (HON2) Olimpia v. winner PR4
    Robert Borden repped this.
  4. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    I like this new CL format better, but it's still competitively crazy that MLS (effectively) gets more CCL berths than Liga MX. It's even crazier that the CFU champion goes directly into CCL.

    I'd love to see some MLS teams navigate the CL (USOC and other conference winner, preferably), but I don't expect that to happen any time soon.
  5. AeroNaught

    AeroNaught Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham, AL
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To expand on this a bit, I wouldn't be totally heartbroken if they swapped the equivalent of the US Open Cup winner spot with perhaps Costa Rica 1? The US team would surely be in the top 6 teams of the CL, but this way it basically evens the slots that qualify directly to the Champions League with Mexico.

    And I agree on the Caribbean winner going straight to the Champions League being kinda lame...I guess their reasoning is they already played a tournament to find out who the best of the Caribbean is, so they should automatically qualify; you can't tell me though that that team is markedly better than a CRC1 or even HON1/PAN1.
  6. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    #6 newtex, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    The current CONCACAF ranking system based on the last 5 tournaments has it this way. This is not a complete list for the CL.

    CCL teams
    1 MEX3 113 pts
    2 MEX2 112 pts
    3 MEX1 103 pts
    4 CAN1 79 pts
    5 USA3 77 pts
    6 USA4 60 pts
    7 USA2 58 pts
    8 USA1 58 pts
    9 MEX4 50 pts
    10 CCC1 25 pts

    CL teams
    1 PAN1 54 pts
    2 CRC2 49 pts
    3 PAN2 47.5 pts
    4 HON1 45 pts
    5 CRC1 42 pts
    6 HON2 35 pts
    7 SLV1 32 pts
    8 GUA1 32 pts
    9 CCC2 29 pts
    10 NCA1 26.5 pts


    Hmm, SLV2 has to start in the Preliminary Round but has more points than some of the higher seeds.

    1 SLV2 32.5 pts

    You can argue with their system and the insistence on doing it by slots which has some confusing effects but right now the only real discrepancies are the Caribbean Champion up way too high and surprisingly MEX4 which is the one that could be replaced by PAN1.

    It is not clear how they will use these rankings for the CCL draw next spring.
    SiberianThunderT repped this.
  7. cleazer

    cleazer Member+

    May 6, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Seems like Mexico needs to catch up by 6 months. The notion that the winners this fall would have to wait 14 months instead of 2 is kind of silly. They could simply omit the next 2 runners-up and be all caught up.

    Calendar-wise, it simply wouldn't work. None of the US teams are determined until after the CL is underway or complete. After the US just caught their schedule up the last year or two (as I mentioned Mexico needs to do now), it would be pretty unlikely to switch things around again.

    Those rankings are soooooo stupid.

    I can only hope they do away with them sooner rather than later.

    It wouldn't exactly be difficult to come up with a better system.
  8. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    BTW, USA3, the highest ranking US team, was filled by these teams in last 5 tournaments:

    2019: Houston Dynamo, U.S. Open Cup champ 2018
    2018: NY Red Bulls, non-SS conference winner 2016
    2016-17: FC Dallas, non-SS conference winner 2015
    2015-16: DC United, non-SS conference winner 2014
    2014-15: Portland Timbers, non-SS conference winner 2013

    USA4, the 2nd highest, was these teams:

    2019: NY Red Bulls, best aggregate record 2017-2018
    2018: Colorado Rapids, SS runner-up 2016
    2016-17: Sporting Kansas City, US Open Cup champ 2015
    2015-16: Real Salt Lake, SS 4th place 2014
    2014-15: DC United, Open Cup champ 2013

    Three Open Cup champs and not a lot of glamour teams in there.
    Zamphyr repped this.
  9. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    #9 ArsenalMetro, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I think the ranking by qualifying slot thing that they do now is alarmingly stupid, but since that's what we have now, yes. The top seed from the best Central American league should go straight to CCL.

    By my coefficients, this would actually be the last time that Costa Rica would get that berth, presumably for a while. Their terrific 2014-15 campaign just got cleared, and they've been equal to or worse than Panama in all of the last 4 seasons.

    The Open Cup final could be moved up. It was in early August in 2012, and that was still with 3 weeks between the R16 and quarters, 2 weeks between the quarters and semis, and 4 weeks between the semis and final.
    Zamphyr repped this.
  10. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Does USL League Two (what the PDL became?) have college players that are only available at some times? Could those players start earlier for the sake of the U.S. Open Cup determining the winner earlier? I don't think U.S. Soccer will change just for the sake of reducing the CCL lag for one club.
  11. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    My implied point was that I don't think it needs to start much earlier, if at all, but the breaks between later rounds would need to be shortened.

    It's all pie-in-the-sky thinking anyway, because Concacaf isn't stripping a US berth.
    AeroNaught repped this.
  12. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Member+

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Nat'l Team:
    Yes, the FMF needs to fix its qualifying the way the USSF did. Some speculate the adjustment was delayed to see if they can send the December teams to the Copa Libertadores instead. Since it seems like a Liga MX return to the Libertadores is not going to happen in the current "tepid" climate between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL it's now time to eliminate the lag.

    The 2020 CCL winner will play at the 2020 CWC in Qatar, the final edition in its current format before the proposed expansion.
  13. STR1

    STR1 Member

    May 29, 2010
    McAllen, TX
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Why? Based on the CCL rankings MLS teams are fine. And that "extra" CCL spot could potentially be a CPL team, or at least they have a shot if they win the Voyaguers Cup.

    I do agree on the CFU going directly to CCL is kind of dumb but maybe this is the only way CONCACAF can guarantee at least one Caribbean team is on CCL. Otherwise, it would be difficult seeing one Caribbean in CCL if it isn't directly.
  14. Justin O

    Justin O Member+

    Nov 30, 1998
    Go Robinhood.
  15. ElNaranja

    ElNaranja Member

    Houston Dynamo
    United States
    Jul 16, 2017
    I think we all know why the CFU Winner is in the CCL, right? To appease that voting block. That said, I wouldn't mind a way of getting one of the Central American clubs a direct berth but I'm not sure how to justify it on a sporting merit, per the rankings above.

    Still, looking forward to one of my favorite tournaments.
  16. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    2019 CONCACAF League
    Preliminary Round
    Home team first, times are ET

    First Leg
    Tuesday, July 30
    Real Esteli (NCA) v. Santa Tecla (SLV) 10:00 pm

    Wednesday, July 31
    Robinhood (SUR) v. Capoise (HAI) 8:00 pm
    Belmopan Bandits (BLZ) v. Saprissa (CRC) 10:00 pm

    Thursday, August 1
    Forge FC (CAN) v. Antigua GFC (GUA) 6:00 pm
    Alianza (SLV) v. San Francisco (PAN) 8:00 pm

    Comunicaciones (GUA) v. Marathon (HON) 10:00 pm

    Second Leg
    Tuesday, August 6
    Santa Tecla (SLV) v. Real Esteli (NCA) 10:00 pm

    Wednesday, August 7
    Capoise (HAI) v. Robinhood (SUR) 8:00 pm
    Saprissa (CRC) v. Belmopan Bandits (BLZ) 10:00 pm

    Thursday, August 8
    San Francisco (PAN) v. Alianza (SLV) 8:00 pm
    Antigua GFC (GUA) v. Forge FC (CAN) 8:00 pm
    Marathon (HON) v. Comunicaciones (GUA) 10:00 pm

    The Round of 16 starts on August 20.

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