For the past few years, we have seen growth from the clubs and the nations of this confederation improving within leaps and bounds. But while there is still room to continue this growth and the improvement of play on the pitch has been nice to watch, CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani has pulled out a brand new twist as he has improved the CONCACAF Champions League with a bigger field.
While we don’t have a true group stage to begin in the Summer-Fall, there will still be a knockout phase in the following year in the Spring, there will be an opening-round filled with 22 clubs from within all three regions of the Confederation. Canada who has it’s own Premier League 7 the Canadian Championship will have three clubs enter, while MLS will continue with four births and the US Open Cup, and Mexico will have five births for their entrants.
In Central America, the UNCAF region will have a ten club tournament with a group stage as well as a knockout faze for five births, following with the Caribbean Zone, the CFU will also have the same tournament to create three births for their sides There will be 22 clubs within the region who will begin in the first round while the Champions of the MLS Cup, Liga MX overall winner, the UNCAF Cup winner, The CFU Winner will advance automatically to the Round of 16 along with a twist as the Leagues Cup between MLS & Liga MX sides will allow the champion to enter the Round of 16 as well.
For those who have just heard the news from MLS, they will now allow all clubs from the top divisions of both countries to compete for three spots to enter the Champions League. The Champions of Leagues Cup will go to the Round of 16 while the second and third place teams will go straight to the first round. The zonal tournaments will begin in the summer of 2023 with MLS & Liga MX will take a stoppage of play to perform the revamped Leagues Cup tournament in the summer to earn those three spots in the Champions League.
The 11 first-round winners will advance to the Round of 16 to face the five automatic bids as all matches will be goal aggregate with away goals counting but the Championship Final will be a single match and that will be played on a weekend date. While the adjustments are exciting news to hear and there will be improved competition along within the confederation, this is an exciting time to see the future of football as the Confederation is celebrating 60 years.
This is the list of bids that will be given to those leagues in their respective countries
Round of 16: five automatic Spots will be given to the champions of Can &USA: MLS Cup, MEX: Liga MX, CAN-USA-& MEX: League Cup, Central American: UNCAF Cup Champion, Caribbean: CFU Cup Champion
Canada: Canadian Premier League Champion & Runner Up, Canadian Championship
USA: five births finishing in MLS Regular season spots & US Open Cup Champion
Mexico: Five births in Liga MX Apertura & Clausura seasons
Leagues Cup: Will have two births with Runners Up & Third Place Finisher
Central Zone: UNCAF Club tournament will have five births. UNCAF Cup Runners Up, Two Semi-Final Losing sides & two play in playoff winners
Caribbean Zone: CFU Club Cup tournament will have two births. Runners up & Third Place Winner
All we want is to see this confederation improve the level of play at the club level and the international, so far this looks to be going in the right direction, but the proof needs to be in the pudding, and we will see this within a couple of years.