Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Opinions

Should CONCACAF Champions League change its schedule?


The recently instituted CONCACAF Champions League is a competition facing some teething troubles. Mexican dominance of the tournament has interest levels plummet, and the debate about how to fix that is on. Thomas Harrison has his say.

CONCACAF Champions League


With the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) group stage coming to an end last week, it’s a good time to address whether or not the North American governing body should change the schedule of their premier club competition, something which has been discussed for a while now. The suggestion is to alter the competition to run spring to autumn, rather than autumn to spring.

The argument for

Since the tournament was rebranded in 2008, there have been seven winners of the competition. All of which are Mexican. Furthermore, five of the seven runners up come from Liga MX, with Real Salt Lake and Montréal Impact the only non-Mexican sides to make the final. The dominance of Mexican sides in the CCL makes the competition somewhat uninteresting at times, whilst some Mexican fans belittle the importance of the CCL.

In order to maximise the tournaments potential, CONCACAF needs more competition, and sides from MLS have the best chance of challenging Liga MX teams. There are many reasons why MLS teams have struggled in the CCL previously, with the salary cap perhaps the most significant factor.

Another reason that’s often talked about as being behind MLS team’s failings in the CCL is due to the scheduling of the competition. With MLS running from spring to autumn, the CCL knockout rounds take place whilst the season in the USA and Canada is just kicking off, meaning that MLS teams are not as prepared as their Liga MX counterparts that are mid-way through their season. Therefore, a change to the competition calendar should help increase competition between MLS and Liga MX sides, making the tournament more interesting to follow. Although it’s debateable how much difference this change would make.

The other argument for is that the victors of the competition would be sent off the Club World Cup in top form, fresh off the back of victory in North America. This could improve performances of CONCACAF teams in the Club World Cup, which have been somewhat disappointing in the past, with no team ever making it past the semi-final stage.

The argument against

Teams from eleven different leagues qualified for this seasons CCL, ten of those leagues run autumn to spring, with MLS the only spring-autumn league. Whilst only sides from Costa Rica have the potential to go far in the competition, apart from those in Liga MX and MLS, the other teams from leagues across Central America and the Caribbean have to be considered an important part of the CCL. With almost all of the continent playing from autumn to spring, it would seem only right, and democratic, for the CCL to mirror this schedule.

It could also be argued that the CCL doesn’t need fixing or changing, it just needs time. Attendances for the competition are quite low, but are growing, as is competition for Liga MX teams. For example, Costa Rican side Alajuelense made the semi-finals in both the 13-14 and 14-15 competition, whilst it took a superb second half performance in the second leg of last season’s final for Club América to defeat Montréal Impact. Whilst football develops in the US and Canada, as well as in the Central American countries, competition for Liga MX teams should increase.

In addition, this year’s competition is set to be the most interesting yet, with Liga MX and MLS sides facing off in all four quarter-finals. Considering the level of rivalry between Mexico and the USA, these matches should spark plenty of interest from within North America.

The verdict

Changing the CCL calendar may create a more competitive, more unpredictable competition, but considering that the majority of leagues in the CONCACAF zone play from autumn to spring, the change shouldn’t take place. If the schedule were to be altered to fit the MLS calendar it would show a depressing state of US hegemony in a region that already refuses to play its premier national team competition, the Gold Cup, outside of the USA.

If those running MLS really want to win the CCL, an impression they gave off last season when allowing Montréal Impact to postpone MLS games during their run to the final, they need to either change their own schedule to fit the rest of the continent, something Russia did a few years ago, or change their salary cap rules, therefore allowing teams to strengthen.


Written by Thomas Harrison

OOTB banner ad 620x150

Thomas Harrison

Latest

Talent Radar

Tom Robinson profiles 10 of the best young players to watch in the Argentinian Primera  for the 2020 season. After over 7 months without...

Talent Radar

A look at the best U-22 Young Players this week, looking at the La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, Eredivisie &...

Opinions

Richard Pike writes about the increasing divide between Europe’s Big 5 Leagues and the rest. 13th of December 1954, a date where an event...

Talent Radar

Mateus Carvalho profiles 20 of the best young players to watch in the Liga NOS  for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! In...

Scout Report

Tom Robinson writes a detailed scout report about the Argentina and Banfield attacking midfielder, Agustin Urzi. With no confirmed date for football to return...

Opinions

Mateus Carvalho casts a discerning eye over Leeds United to assess their prospects in the Premier League. I still remember being a little kid,...

Tactical Analysis

Vishal Patel takes a close look at Chelsea’s defence to understand why the club conceded so many goals in the 2019-20 Premier League. Frank...

Talent Radar

Richard Pike profiles 20 of the best Under-20 players to watch in the Serie A  for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! As...

Young Players

Richard Pike profiles 20 of the best Under-20 players to watch in the La Liga for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! As...

Young Players

Rahul Warrier profiles 20 Young Players to watch in the 2020/21 Premier League season, one from each club! The return of Premier League football...

You May Also Like

Scout Report

Tom Robinson writes a detailed scout report about the Paraguay and Atlanta United striker, Erik Lopez. When it comes to Paraguayan football, much of...

Plus

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the MLS is the home...

Talent Radar

As the 2017 MLS season has finished, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize the accomplishments of tomorrow’s stars...

Talent Radar

Andrew Thompson sits down and takes a look at, who in his opinion, have been the best of a bright group of U-22 players...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this