MLS teams in Copa Libertadores?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Century's Best, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Century's Best

    Century's Best Member+

    Jul 29, 2003
    To all MLS fans:

    As you know, recent editions of Copa Libertadores have included CONCACAF (Mexican) squads. Some of these have actually done quite well, with Cruz Azul finishing in second place in 2001 (actually defeating Boca Jrs. in Buenos Aires but falling on PKs).

    What do you think of the inclusion of MLS teams? The quality of MLS soccer asides, do you think it would help "internationalize" Copa Libertadores? Perhaps give it more exposure in the US market? In the US, Libertadores matches can be seen only through specific cable tv channels, and unsurprisingly, it's the South Americans who live in the US who watch these games.

    Team USA has already participated in Copa America. Why not see MLS teams in the Libertadores?

    IMO, I believe it would benefit MLS teams because it would give them greater experience... imagine facing teams like Penarol, River Plate, Cruzeiro... not exactly what MLS teams are used to.
  2. Jim Dow

    Jim Dow New Member

    Mar 20, 1999
    Belmont, MA
    I can't think of a better "master's degree" for MLS teams than playing in the Libertadores Cup tourney. In my mind it is the most difficult tournament in the world because of the combination of a high level of play and widely varying playing conditions (from the heights of Bolivia to the sea level hot tub of Baranquilla and more). Nothing could toughen up our lads more.

    We shouldn't expect results at first but we would benefit greatly as time goes on.

    Fabulous idea. MLS should, like the MFL, buy their way in and go on from there.

  3. Anoldo Schwarzeneggr

    Anoldo Schwarzeneggr BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Oct 26, 2003
    This would be great!
  4. Tecos

    Tecos Member+

    Apr 8, 2003
    Tecos UA de Guadalajara
    Nat'l Team:
    It would be excellent and serve a variety of purposes for MLS teams, but just look at the USSF turning down the invitation to the next Copa America. This makes me think that it is very unlikely that MLS teams play in the Libertadores any time soon.
  5. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    I vote no...

    This might be a good idea in a few years time, but right now it would be a major distraction and financial loss with very little return. MLS needs to continue to grow and develop talent. Currently, the rosters are just too small and there isn't enough quality depth. With more stadiums being controlled by the teams, the best idea right now would be to set up a mid-summer tournament for mostly Europeans teams. many of which are looking for pre-season tune-ups. Libertadores will becme an option when MLS teams have the financial resources and fan base to make it work.
  6. WLU_Mike

    WLU_Mike New Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    It would be great to see MLS teams in the Copa Libertadores. There is no doubt that they have the ability to compete at this level. I strongly believe that this would be mutually beneficial to MLS teams and to the South American teams.
  7. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    Insane idea

    Manchester to Milan - 750 miles
    Madrid to Moscow - 2140 miles
    New York City to Buenos Aires - 5250 miles
    Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro - 6310 miles
  8. masterklh

    masterklh New Member

    Oct 21, 2003

    Anytime you are exposed to higher quality play, you will step up your own play. Constant exposure to South American giants would only bring the level of MLS up. Not only would it bring up the exposure, it might also help attract a bit more talent into the league.

    I really think MLS needs to expand beyond US borders and play some International club level play. And when I say this, I’m not talking about a 1 game preseason international. The more exposure to higher competition levels will help progress the talent of MLS and the League overall gaining it more worldly recognition instead of the joke it is now in the big soccer markets. We have already proved we can win against some European teams, though they might not be the big market teams. Example being DC United, one of the worst teams in the league beating Tottenham Hotspurr of the English Premiere League. Sure it’s a friendly, but a win is a win is a win against a team in one of the toughest Leagues in the world.

    Hell, I say go for it… It would not hurt in the least bit.
  9. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But then again, via that argument, not nearly as ridiculous as the Pan-Pacific Cup idea that gets floated around every so often, that would involve some club or national sides from the Americas playing against the best from Aisa and Oceania.

    By that logic above, a plane trip from the Bay Area or Los Angeles to Sydney or Melbourne, for example, is about 8,000 miles apart, and about a 15-hour plane flight, give or take whether you have a stopover in the Cook Islands or in New Zealand.

    However, I think the size of squads of MLS teams, that's probably the biggest sticking point as to what would make taking part in competitions such as the Copa Libertadores a realistic endeavour. A few injuries here and there, and that affects the competitive chances of an MLS side.

    I'd love to see it myself (as well as that Pan-Pacific Cup idea someday), but can't see it happening anytime soon.
  10. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    Can't say I've ever heard of this proposal, but I can't imagine anyone would seriously suggest MLS teams fly to Asia and back a couple of times a month for mid-week games during the season.
  11. Snarf

    Snarf Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Eagle Mountain, UT
    I think if the libertadores was more like the world cup where you fly out there, stay a few weeks, and then come home, it would be worth it for the MLS, but it seems like it would be a big expense for what they would likely gain from it.

    I would really love to see it happen anyways however.

    So the MFL really bought their way in, huh, I was wondering how they got into the south american championship when they're not south americans. How much would it cost the MLS to get in?

    I heard a few years ago when America was close to winning Libertadores, they were not going to give them the slot in the intercontinental cup that normally goes to the Libertadores winner, because they weren't south americans. Does Libertadores really respect the MFL entries now?
  12. PZ

    PZ Member

    Apr 11, 1999
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It would be nice to see an MLS team do well in a home and home series in the CONCACAF Champs Cup before talking about the Freedom Cup.
  13. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Admittedly, it gets more mention on this side of the Pacific than it does back over there. More of a plan bandied about by the Asian and Oceanic confederations every so often-- I've even heard it mentioned as part of reforming the domestic game here in Australia-- and yeah, it is a bit of a pipe dream on their part.

    I wouldn't expect those in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, etc., to take it seriously, either.
  14. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Very true... crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run, etc...

    I think even the most optimistic and forward-thinking of MLS supporters would agree with that.
  15. lond2345

    lond2345 Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    Obviously the answer is yes (they should participate)

    It is only a matter of time AND MONEY before they participate. The main factors are

    1) mls rosters are too small and can't handle both mls and copa libertadores. Just look around to see injury plauged mls teams. Imagine playing both tourneys and taking long trips to south america.

    2) getting conmebol to allow mls sides. This is going to require lots of money from mls. Mexico had to pay a lot of dough.

    so basically it all comes down to MONEY. You can solve both 1 and 2 with money. MLS is going to have to wait till it is better off financially and is making good money to have bigger rosters to handle multiple tournaments and to pay off conmebol.

    and I didnt mention the skill factor. MLS sides have not learned to win on the road outside the USA in the champions cup. They have been destroyed by mexican b teams. If you have watched copa libertadores games you will see teams put a lot of pressure and the marking is all over the field. Not 1 second goes by and some guy is right next to you trying to take the ball from you. Some mls teams (the bad ones) would be lucky to string 3 passes together without losing the ball.
  16. ricv56

    ricv56 New Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    MFL clubs got in not by paying CONMEBOL (who was actually dead-set against FMF clubs participating), but through a loophole that allowed them to pay the Venezuelan FA for access to their two spots in the tournament. Under that setup, MFL teams play a qualifying tournament in the US to cover the costs of paying the Venezuelan FA. After *that*, the MFL teams that qualify play another qualifying tournament into the Libertadores proper. The year Cruz Azul made it to the finals, they ended up playing nearly seventy games.

    The option of buying in isn't open to MLS clubs, or even to other MFL clubs. Bolivia was approached by parties interested in brokering a deal similar to the one struck with Venezuela, in order to get MFL clubs access to Bolivia's two spots on top of Venezuela's two spots, and Bolivia said they weren't interested in selling.

    It would seem as though there is respect for MFL clubs, as CONMEBOL has given their teams direct entry for two spots in the tournament. They've become a known quantity off the field as a big part of their inclusion in the tournament is because Fox Sports asked that CONMEBOL include MFL clubs in the tournament which is mostly due to the fact that they are the biggest draw in the United States as far as Libertadores go.If I recall correctly, as part of that deal, they also gain the Intercontinental Cup berth should they win the tournament. They've certainly earned respect on the field, having semi-finalists in three of the past four tournaments. MFL clubs have defeated both Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aires.

  17. lond2345

    lond2345 Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    I'm not sure about this one. If not mistaken MFL clubs can't play the intercontinental cup (part of the deal)

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