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CONCACAF Champions League kicks off tonight


The New England Revolution and Chivas USA will kick off the first round of the first annual CONCACAF Champions League tonight with the Revs facing Trinidad & Tobago champions Joe Public while Chivas USA is in Panama to face Panamanian champions Tauro FC.

This year marks the first playing of the CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament featuring 24 teams rather than the eight teams featured in the tournament’s original version, the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Here is a rundown of the games of the opening round, with eight teams vying for four spots in the final 16, which will be broken down into group stages (which I list after the first-round):



  • Tonight:   Joe Public FC (TRI) vs. New England Revolution; Tauro FC (PAN) vs Chivas USA; CD Cruz Azul (MEX) vs. Hankook Verdes (BLZ)
  • Wednesday: Impact de Montrèal (CAN) vs. Real Estelí (NCA); LD Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR); AD Isidro Metapan (SLV) vs. CD Marathon (HON).
  • Thursday: Harbour View FC (JAM) vs. Pumas UNAM (MEX); Deportivo Jalapa (GUA) vs. San Francisco FC (PAN)


  • SEPT. 2: New England Revolution vs. Joe Public FC (TRI); Chivas USA vs. Tauro FC (PAN); Real Estelí (NCA) vs. Impact de Montrèal (CAN)
  • SEPT. 3: Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR) vs. LD Alajuelense (CRC); Hankook Verdes (BLZ) vs. CD Cruz Azul (MEX); CD Marathon (HON) vs. AD Isidro Metapan (SLV)
  • SEPT. 4: San Francisco FC (PAN) vs. Deportivo Jalapa (GUA); Pumas UNAM (MEX) vs. Harbour View FC (JAM)

Here is a breakdown of the Groups in the tournament:

GROUP A: D.C. United, Deportivo Saprissa, Winner of Cruz Azul/Verdes, Winner of Metapan/Marathon

GROUP B: Houston Dynamo, Luis Angel Firpo, Winner of Harbor View/Pumas, Winner of Deportivo Jalapa/San Francisco

GROUP C: Atlante, Olimpia, Winner of Joe Public/New England, Winner of Montreal/Real Esteli

GROUP D: Santos Laguna, CD Municipal, Winner of Chivas USA/Tauro, Winner of Alajuense/Puerto Rico Islanders.

The tournament will run through from tonight until the final, which will be played in two legs in April, with the winner of the tournament earning a place in the FIFA Club World Cup in December of 2009. The group stage runs through October, with the tournament resuming with the quarterfinals in February.

What do you think of the MLS teams’ chances in this tournament? Can Houston or New England or D.C. put together a deep run in this new event?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. paul Lorinczi: “Not the Twellman we all know and love”.

    Keep in mind he is coming back from injury. Nevertheless the whole NE team were playing tired or disinterested. Too many games leads to this sort of affair. They simply don’t have the roster to play 10 games in 30 days as one of the announcers mentioned. Furthermore I think the players may be sending a message to the league. As many of you pointed out above MLS was embaressed last night. I assume the leadership of MLS saw these games and recognize it.

    Question now is will they do something about it or does the embaressment need to grow some more.

  2. One more thing, I am a big Twellman fan.

    He sucked last night. He used to be a forward that fought to put the ball in the net. If it was not to his feet, or on his head, he did not move. He looked like he was in a light scrimmage last night.

    Not the Twellman we all know and love.

  3. It is competitions like these that will either legitimize our league or expose it as posers.

    We are not in pre-season, so it is no longer an excuse for failure. Games on the road? If MLS is so major, it doesn’t matter.

    Last night, MLS did not show well at all. I don’t know if they were just trying to get draws and come home. Either way, what a terrible performance by both the Revs and Chivas.

    Last night demonstrates that we have a ways to go. Our Major League should be beating teams from the T&T and Panama, not losing to them.

    We sucked last night. I agree that MLS needs to get over itself and deliver results on the field. Step one, beat the competition in the Carribean and Central America like you are the bigger league.

  4. Andy in Atlanta: it’s not an idiot statement. For a while I’ve stated that MLS has totally oversold its product and its competitiveness. I don’t care that it is not a good league, because it and USL are OUR leagues. But the point is that a lot of propoganda has been spewed about the league’s improvement when in reality the MLS sides like DC and LA were much more competitive in international events in the early days of this league. In addition I can almost guarantee the circa 1996 to 1999 DC teams that Kevin Payne built would dominate MLS today.

    My point is these are our domestic leagues and we should support them. But in order to win fans of European and Latin football MLS has completely exaggerated its competitiveness. I happen to think MLS is hardly better than most of the leagues in Central America and the poor tactical sense American players show on the national team do not come because of Bradley or Arena as so many of our fans like to claim but because of how non competitive MLS matches are and how many bad giveaways in a match and the lack of emphasis on possession in general in the league. You may disagree with me, but I resent it being called an idiotic statement when it is a legitimate opinion.

  5. Andy-

    Prob is that CSA is too self involved and not bothered to actually earn their paycheques. As a result its easier to have 3 teams play in a round robin. Curious to see if this will ever change. Highly doubtful in all honesty. Theyve only sorta sorted proper advertising for the Canadian National Team.

    Obviously this could turn into a long rant. Ill spare you from that.

  6. Kartik…. don’t make idiot statements please. While I have the utmost respect for the Mexican Leagues… lets not get carried away. The best MLS teams could compete just fine. Also… for you all you people that think Canada does not have a soccer league… you don’t wager on soccer very much. There are several “semi professional” teams that play in the Canadian Soccer League but these teams are based only in Quebec and Ontario. There are also several USL PDL teams as well. For some strange reason the Canadian Soccer Assoc has never chosen to create an “Open Cup” to include all these teams. Seems unfair that the ticket for this competition was only waived in front of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

    PDL teams in the US could win the LHUSOC and get a bid much to the CONCACAF Champions League sort of like Queen of the South in Scotland was playing in the UEFA Cup today…

    CSL teams…

    Windsor Border Stars (2004)

    Brampton Lions (2002)

    Italia Shooters (1998)

    London City (1973)

    North York Astros (1990)

    Serbian White Eagles (1968)

    St. Catharines Wolves (1996)

    Toronto Croatia (1956)

    Toronto Supra Portuguese (2001)

    Trois-Rivières Attak (2006)

    TFC Academy (2008)

    USL PDL teams

    Abbotsford Mariners

    Ottawa Fury

    Toronto Lynx

    Thunder Bay Chill “CURRENT PDL CHAMPS”

    Vancouver Whitecaps Residency

    Victoria Highlanders

  7. RK , I don’t know how you can think TFC had a gimmie into this tournament. As I’ve said before MLS is very over rated and USL while not good by any international standard is better than almost any 2nd division in the world when compared with the quality of the 1st division in the same nation. Playing Vancouver and Montreal two established clubs is hardly a “gimmie.”

    Why anyone is surprised by this is beyond me. Simply because MLS claims it has improved does not mean it has. I suggest some of you read my article from April about MLS results in international competitions since 2001 have been embarrassing and the lack of emphasis on player development in MLS is poor. (click on my blog link and look at the archives) The lack of development of the US National Team I have written has as much to do with MLS’ lack of quality and lack of desire to really develop players in a quality fashion. Yet people like to beat up on the USSF and don’t like to assign the proper blame to MLS for the coaches not teaching proper techniques and the desire of the league to oversell its product and the continued increase in the number of foreign players most of whom are not even good enough to play for their national teams.

    For every Jorge Rojas signing in this league their are like 3 Mathias Cordoba signings.


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