New CONMEBOL president wants MLS sides in Copa Libertadores

New CONMEBOL president wants MLS sides in Copa Libertadores

South American Soccer

New CONMEBOL president wants MLS sides in Copa Libertadores

CopaLibertadores-AP

By RYAN TOLMICH

In the constant fight for market expansion, new CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout wants to take the confederation’s premier tournament up north.

The Paraguayan is interested in adding more CONCACAF sides to the Copa Libertadores tournament, with the main prize being the inclusion of MLS.

“It is important that this happens for the relationship between CONMEBOL and CONCACAF,” Napout said. “After all, America is one. This is an idea that interests everyone.”

The potential inclusion of North American sides would be the latest step by CONMEBOL towards expanding north, with the confederation having already scheduled a special Copa America in the U.S. for 2016.

Despite Mexico’s involvement in the South American tournament, including MLS sides would provide a special set of challenges. Travel would prove to be a particularly large hurdle, with potential clashes between Canadian and Argentine or Chilean teams resulting in nearly impossible travel schedules.

However, CONMEBOL still has interest in approaching the American market, as MLS currently outdraws all but one of the South American leagues, the Argentine Primera Division.

The 2014 edition of the tournament wrapped up Wednesday, with Argentine side San Lorenzo crowned champions after defeating Paraguayan side Nacional, 2-1 on aggregate.

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What do you think about MLS sides featuring in the Copa Libertadores? Is it realistic with travel limitations?

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