CONCACAF Champions League
More on this in Tuesday’s column.
But here’s the basics from today’s CONCACAF press release:
CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) announced today the official launch of the new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League which will commence in August 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will replace the Champions Cup which will cease to exist after the 2008 edition.
The CONCACAF Champions League will see a Confederation record number of 24 teams from all sectors of the CONCACAF region participating. The preliminary round begins in August 2008 with the first CONCACAF Champions League winner to be crowned in late April 2009.
The CONCACAF Champions League will feature four teams from Mexico and USA; three Caribbean sides; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative coming from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua.
Eight clubs (two Mexican, two USA, one each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) will be seeded and progress directly to the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League, while the Caribbean slots have been increased to three teams for this event.
The remaining 16 teams will be paired in eight home-and-away preliminary match-ups taking place from 26-28 August and 2-4 September.
The preliminary round winners will join the other eight seeded teams in the group stage that consists of four groups of four. All the teams in each group will play each other in a round-robin system during six match dates (three home games, three away games) from 16 September 30 October.
The top two clubs from each group will advance to the knock out phase playing home-and-away elimination. The quarterfinals commence in February 2009; semifinals begin in March; and the Finals will take place in late April.
The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as the CONCACAFs representative to the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Three Dozen Looks (Or So)
U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Pia Sundhage called 37 players into a camp that starts Friday in Carson.
The U.S. men are already in camp at the HDC.
Hall of Fame Builders Ballot
Former U.S. Coaches Bruce Arena and Bob Gansler head the list announced today.