Posts Tagged ‘CONCACAF Champions League

11
Jun
08

US Open Cup: Chicago downs Columbus 3-2

So one of my favorite competitions kicked off for the Fire yesterday against Columbus in Peoria. Is it really all that surprising that it’s a favorite competition of mine as a Fire fan? They are thinking of naming it the ‘Fire trophy’ after all…OK not really.

I am happy to hear that unlike Dave “Shit Bird” Sarachan, Hamlett is taking it seriously this year. Luis also has a list of who started on the RED CARD as well.

I hope the Fire can bring in Open Cup number 5. I hope not only for the prestige of having yet another title for the trophy case, but also because winning the USOC is one of the US qualifiers for the newly launched CONCACAF Champions League along with the MLS CUP winner, Supporter’s Shield Winner (team with the most points in the single table) and the MLS CUP Runner Up.

So as you can see, this might be the first time in a while more MLS teams actually put more stock into the USOC since a place in the Champion’s League will mean a CONSIDERABLE bump up in pay for participating and an even bigger bump if you finish well.

16
May
08

MLS week 6 & 7 thoughts…yeah I know I’m late

So as those of you who read my entertainment blog know, I have been busy prepping the Cannes film festival. (yeah, people ask me whether should be made or not. Weird right? Too bad they normally make the ones I’m not too keen on first. Oh well)

As such, I haven’t been able to pay much attention to this blog since, well, it pays nothing since WordPress.com doesn’t allow ads and the other sites do pay me (a little bit).

Anyway, here is a quick list of thoughts and let me start with a quick note on the start of week 8 with the RSL vs. Colorado game.

It was a pretty tight match. The level of play is the highest I’ve seen in the ‘Rocky Mountain Cup’ since it’s inception. This holds true league wide.

Colorado is looking like the team to beat out west and RSL is looking much improved. However, playing in the west it is looking more and more like they won’t make the playoffs again. It’s a shame because they do have some exciting young players. The Argies they added last year have been fantastic.

On to the past two weeks:

First, LA is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To expect anymore or less the rest of the year, barring a major move, is folly. They have all the offense in the world. In fact, I am pretty confident that they could blast just about anyone off the field when they are even half on. However, the problem continues being defense as evidenced by their home loss to TFC a few weeks ago. They continue this streak of poor defending and it has been costing them, especially against RBNY who are a vastly overrated side.

LA needs to find a leader. They give up a ton of goals immediately after scoring and it is clear they need someone to holler at them and tell them to focus. 7 years ago a team could over celebrate and get away with it. However, the level of play and competitiveness for spots has increased to such a degree that it isn’t possible to take too many plays off without being punished. You only need as DC United…

…who got the living shit kicked out of them by Chicago on MLS Thursday a week after Chicago beat the shit out of New England for a second time this year. (where’s the excuses for your side this time, Nicol?) DC United has had a pretty strong history of having some talented players, but also having players who drift in and out of matches at times (look at their woeful recent playoff history) The fact of the matter is, the better teams in the league no longer allow you to take plays off anymore. Again, 4-5 years ago this may have been the case, but it simply can’t happen anymore.

The 2 best teams in the league by a country mile are Chicago and Columbus for this very reason. They keep their foot on the gas even if they are having a bad game and more often than not, they have been putting teams to sleep.

The real tragedy is the fact that if current form holds, the league’s failure to structure the playoffs in a straight 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5 format will mean Chicago and Columbus will have to knock one or the other out of the playoffs and play a lesser western team in the final. I know that’s getting way ahead of ourselves as things change almost weekly in MLS due to the relative parity (though it’s looking less pared this year)

However, my complaint stands. The straight table playoff should be the format but it won’t be now that the league tries to do everything possible to get LA into the post-season. Look at the change to the format this year. Last year’s race for spots was the best ever because they made it the top 2 from each conference getting in and then the next best 6 irregardless of conference. However, that was changed to the top 3 and then the next 2 this year which pretty much brings it back to what it used to be. It was a move clearly aimed at aiding the western conference and LA in particular and it’s shameful.

MLS: you won’t be fooling anyone. If LA makes the playoffs as the #3 in the west 20 pts behind 3 other eastern conference teams that would have made it if not for the rules changes, it’s not going to impress anyone. There are a billion other things you could do to give them a competitive advantage. Hell, if you raised the cap $500K they could get 2 high quality defenders and they’d be one of the best teams in the league. They’d probably dominate. Doing it this way just sucks.

I digress. Continue reading ‘MLS week 6 & 7 thoughts…yeah I know I’m late’

28
Jan
08

CONCACAF Champions League Announced

So this has FINALLY been formalized and was much needed.

The CONCACAF Champions Cup is going the way of the dinosaur and becoming a UEFA Champions League/Libertadores style event instead which promises to add more drama.

Here are some of the details from the CONCACAF website:

CONCACAF 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.

Though I have one question: What’s up with the 1 team from Canada thing? Last time I checked Canada participated in both the USL and MLS and there is currently only one division 1 (MLS) side active in Canada.

Surely that can’t mean that Toronto FC gets an automatic berth every year until they add another Canadian side does it? Even then: Why?

If they must have teams from all nations, then it’s time to fold TFC now or for Canada to create their own league. I don’t see that happening, but it’s a sham if a team as shitty as TFC was on the pitch last year gets and automatic berth into the regional club championship and by extension a possible invite to the wildly lucrative FIFA Club World Cup.

Someone at CONCACAF has some explainin’ to do (which isn’t the first time) but other than that peccadillo; I really love the change.

Things keep on growing in the US and CONCACAF in terms of soccer/football. Exciting times my friends. Exciting times.

Check out the schedule of events after the break Continue reading ‘CONCACAF Champions League Announced’




MLS ASG in DENVER- by eBatty