Final 2017 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) update

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After FC Dallas and Vancouver’s elimination from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, MLS participation in this competition is over for the 2016-17 competition. Previously, four U.S. based MLS teams and a Canadian MLS team would enter the Group Stage of the 2017-18 version of this tournament later this Fall.  Recent changes in the CCL format, however, have eliminated any MLS participation in the CCL until the knock-out Stage of the 2017-18 CCL, which will take place in early 2018 after completion of a new CCL qualifying round among non-US and Mexico clubs.

This change created challenges for US Soccer because, under current rules, there would now be four potentially different teams who will have qualified for the CCL prior to the start of the 16 team knock-out round in addition to the four who had already qualified.

According to Brian Strauss at SI.com, US Soccer has resolved this issue.  The four teams who qualified for the 2017-18 round, including FC Dallas, will still enter the competition in early 2018.  The 8-team issue created by the CONCACAF format changes will be addressed by having the MLS Cup and US Open Cup champions from this year and 2018 be the CCL representatives who enter the knock-out stages in early 2019.  For this season, the MLS Supporters Shield winner and the first place team from the conference opposite the Supporters Shield winner will not automatically qualify for the CCL.  The system will revert back to the original arrangement for the 2019-20 CCL.

For this year, as is usually the case, two LigaMX teams, Tigres UANL and Pachuca will contest the final of the 2017-2018 CCL tournament later this month.  The first leg of the match will take place on Tuesday April 18 at 8:00 CDT in Monterrey.  The second leg will be played in Pachuca on Wednesday, April 26 also at 8 p.m.

 

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