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New CONMEBOL president wants MLS sides in Copa Libertadores



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.


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

Share your thoughts below.


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

    I don’t think there are any travel limitations, teams will travel if they have something to gain from the trip. Game days can be moved to accomodate travel, rest, and recovery so I don’t think the travel time is as big a deal as some other people think. I think the only thing that matters is whether or not the MLS teams have much to gain from Copa Libertadores and I think the answer is no.

    The South American teams have something to gain from appearing in the United States but the same isn’t true for MLS teams playing in SA, they’ll get whatever payout they get per match and that’s probably about it. The MLS needs to attract casual American fans and get them interested in soccer. The problem with Copa Libertadores is that it’s competitive so an MLS team is not guaranteed an attractive match up marketing wise, in fact I’d say that they’re more likely to draw a dog that a casual fan has never heard of. San Lorenzo beat Nacional, two teams most casual fans have probably never heard of, in fact most casual fans have probably never heard of Paraguay period. If they’ve heard of Uruguay it’s only because of Suarez’s Hannibal Lector impression in Brazil.

    I’d just invite some of the well-known teams from Brazil and Argentina up here for summer invitationals, that way European teams could be mixed in and interest could be generated among casual fans but I think for MLS teams Copa Libertadores is a lot of down side with not a whole lot of up side. I’d love to see the CCL champion against the Copa Libertadores champion every year but that’s about it.

  2. Only way I could see it work is if they create a North region and a South region with teams from the two regions only meeting at a mini Top Four tournament at a single location.

  3. Definately something to consider. Even if its one MLS team per year that participates. There are several ways to do this. One way is to have the MLS team play less regular season games and average out the points. Another way is to give the team NO CAP for two years. Yes its controversial but it would only be for two years, so the team can sign alot of good players. Teams like Seattle, Toronto, NYFC and Red Bulls have the money to make a very attractive team. Can you imagine the prestige it would give MLS to win Liberatadores and do well in the World Club Finals?

  4. This would be great if MLS teams can compete in the offseason. It would be summer in South America and winter of course up here but it wouldn’t interfere with the regular season schedule and what better way to prepare for the season by participating in the Copa Libertadores?

    • Something like that would be a necessity, but Azeta isn’t anywhere near halfway between the United States and Argentina or Brazil. It’s a three hour flight from LA and a 9 hour flight from Buenos Aires.

      If we’re talking about the most centrally located major stadium, it’d have to be Estadio Nacional in San Jose or some other Central American stadium. Possibly also somewhere in Colombia. Cartagena is almost exactly halfway between LA and Buenos Aires.

  5. I would love this. Actually, I am a supporter of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL just combining into one federation for both national and club teams. It will have to happen eventually anyways if we are to compete with Europe once they start their own “Nations League” or whatever they’re calling it. In less than 3 WC cycles, we become a super region. You heard it here first!

  6. Top 3 concacaf CL winners qualify to copa libertadores 1st place also competes in world club cup simple concaf more competitive and woukdnt get hammered

  7. The travel would be too much. Could you imagine having to fly to Buenos Aires, play a game on Wednesday, fly back Thursday and then play a game less than 48 hours later on Saturday. I think it would lower the competition level in MLS since the teams will be exhausted, especially considering the lack of depth and already a ton of travel in the USA which covers more ground then all of Western Europe. One of the things player always talk about is the major travel required just within the USA. Imagine adding games in Brazil or Chile?

  8. Probably the only way an Pan-American continent (North, Central, & South American) club championship can be held is if it’s held as a tournament, a la World Cup style, with one country hosting 32 teams over the course of a month. You can avoid adding on the extra month to the domestic league calendar is to cut the field into 16 or 8 by drawing home-and-way series (like the UEFA champions league past the group stage) and then having the 16 or 8 team tournament, in one country of course, in two and a half weeks.

    It’ll take massive coordination, and probably all the leagues in the American continent moving to a somewhat similar domestic league calendar. Which is the biggest hurdle since most everyone else in this part of the world follows the European calender

    • You mean a european schedule like Sweden, Norway, Estonia, etc? Or one like England, Italy, Spain, etc? Because I’m pretty sure this part of the World follows neither. Most countries in the Americas use an Apertura/Clausura, and Brazil uses a state championship/national championship format. As far as I’m aware nobody in this part of the World uses a “European calendar.” Unless you simply meant they follow FIFA dates. Which itself isn’t true, because there were more than one league playing games during the recent World Cup.

  9. COMNEBOL has always been interested in having MLS in Copa Libertadores, but the travel times would make this almost certainly impossible. Not to mention that some Latin American countries, like Brazil, don’t allow direct international flights outside of the major cities, creating a logistical nightmare if Vancouver had to play Inter or Gremio in Porto Alegre. You’re looking at almost 22 hours of travel, if not more, to play one game. I have a hard time believing this will ever happen.

  10. The idea is interesting, but its starting to get confusing with so many freaking tournaments. I wouldnt mind getting rid of another tournament if this one takes it place. aka a bigger champions league. I just think something is going to get its toes stepped on before this all plays out.

  11. That sound I am hearing is MLS fans complaining about the travel after a few MLS clubs get waxed down south.

    Bruce Arena just read this article and started whining already.

  12. This would increase salary cap. Maybe we can get international tv deals. Who cares about traveling. Both teams will be doing traveling not just mls teams. This would also help mls stadiums who wouldn’t want to go see nacional (Colombia) vs red bulls

  13. big fan of the Americas all looking to team up! that said, MLS teams can’t even win CCL. a large reason being a lack of roster depth due to a $3m salary cap. until we’re sitting at $10m+ cap w/ 4ish DPs, i don’t see MLS teams having the depth to compete in CCL, CopaL, USOC, and MLS.

    but it’s worth figuring out because that tournament would be HUGE for our development.

  14. What about inviting the semi-finalists of the Libertadores up to the US to take on the 4 semi-finalists of the CCL for a knockout tournament? I probably should look up schedules to see how feasible creating a new tournament would work, but at first glance CONMEBOL gets exposure and $$, while CONCACAF gets some cash, and USSF gets high-quality matches…as well as $.

    • Great idea but no thanks, this does not give us extra exposure, we already have enough exposure being second only to UEFA in terms of quality etc. Evrybody knows who we are and the players we sell to europe to make uefa better. In other words how can we need more exposure being the second world power in football federations (quality wise)?

      • Roberto, I meant exposure for South American teams to US fans, not necessarily a boost in world football rankings. I love Copa Libertadores, but the number of people in the US that pay attention is tiny when compared to the UEFA Champions League. That is why I thought that South American clubs might want to come here.

  15. Ridiculous. We can’t even compete with the Mexican teams what makes him think we can compete in South America?
    This is nothing more than a money grab.

  16. This would be GREAT! It would help the MLS improve in competitiveness and raise the magnitude and prestige of the tournament to rival with that of the Champions League. I think it completely makes sense, after all given its namesake that is one very important common aspect shared by the Americas – the liberators, Bolivar, San Martin, Washington, Lafayette, Louveture, Sucre, Hidalgo and many others.

    • Yes but we are SOUTH AMERICA…not anglo or central America…we are just fine like that. and when it comes to Libertadores name. we mean the South american liberators. lets just keep things separated here. we just like it that way… thannks for your interest though

      • LoL wait…. WTF is Anglo America?

        You can stop worrying Roberto because it’s not going to happen- this makes no practical sense other than for a new CONMEBOL president desperately trying to find a way to balance the books.

      • Anglo America = The Americas that have English culture. The United States and Canada. As opposed to Latin America.

      • Politicized archaic nonsense meant to divide. Interesting to use a geographical reference for Central and South America, then a cultural distinction towards North America. The US has a pretty diverse cultural influence…. including the largest population of Spanish speaking people of any nation in the world.

      • the interest was conveyed by your CONMEBOL President

        but Roberto, I get your point and what you’re trying to say

  17. Im cool with that, but here’s what MLS needs to change

    1. USMNT players do not count as a DP – more than 5 games played
    (LA Galaxy example: 2 DP spots open up – Donovan, Gonzalez)
    2. Raise the DP’s to 4

    • agreed. i’d even go all out and say, if the cap is raised a good amount and the DP minimum goes up, any American should not count as a DP. chances are that a US player making that much money is likely a USMNT player anyway.

  18. It’s all about the $$$$$$$$$$$. Napout does not care about the relationship between the two federations. He does care about the relationship between American wallets and his.

  19. No please!! don’t ruin Copa Libertdores…we dont want US, mexico or Central America. This belongs to us, this is a traditional cup with good quality that has been around for years ..this is a tradition. We (the fans) don’t want your money or the football you play. Please mr Napout, take a nap..stay out and back off. same with copa America

      • But we the fans don’t!! we want things just the way they are…enough of this globalization BS in football. I want to keep my identity. no disrespect here, thats just what I and the majority of us want.

      • Agree 100% Roberto.

        Plus from my viewpoint, I am sick of EVERYONE trying to get the US soccer fan’s money.

        We are about 2-3 years away from EPL games being held in a massive stadium in a massive city inside the US.

      • He’s afraid that once MLS really gets going, South American teams won’t be able to compete. And he’s right.

    • Now I’m suddenly willing to overlook the logistical roadblocks just so I can see an MLS team “bring its money and its football” to South America and cause some trouble.

  20. Where to start?
    1st of all, MLS teams will get destroyed by the argentines , brazilians, Colombians, and the list goes on……….if LigaMX gets beaten by small teams from South America, imagine what could happen to MLS.
    2 of all, too much miles and miles and MLS teams would never get use to it, simple as that, unless technology makes it happen.
    3 of all, garber believes in parity, and none of South American leagues have parity,news flash garber 🙂
    4 of all, god forbids any kind of massacre happens since South American fans are rowdy as they come and don’t hold back . Mexican teams are use to it, but it would take about 5 years for MLS teams to get use to the South American libertadores fans. Soccer players say, it’s harder to win the libertadores than Uefa champions due the ugly fields, rowdy fans, violence, refereeing is bias, locker rooms stink and the fans make you feel like your from another planet.
    5 of all, the MLS calendar is awkward and helpless for libertadores.
    6 of all, how many teams would qualify, Mexico has 3 automatic and 1 play in spot.
    7 of all and most important, I don’t think MLS owners know what’s libertadores 🙂 and they would say, no thank you due to money and safety.
    Don’t get me wrong, if MLS gets their salary and bla bla bla straight, then do it. Start with 2 teams them go to 4. If MLS expands to 26 to 30 teams, I don’t see a problem but fix your calendar .
    There would be MLS cup, us open cup, champions and libertadores.
    In Mexico, I think #s 5,6,7,8 from the table go to libertadores, given that the top 4 are champion league teams but Mexico fans love the libertadores and hate the champions.

      • Ridiculous in what sense? The “massacre” part maybe but, as someone who use to watch Copa Libertadores quite a bit (not so much now), the overall bias and home field insanity that occurs is like nothing I’ve seen anywhere else. It makes San Pedro Sula seem welcoming.

      • Exactly, I have been watching libertadores for about 13 years, and trust me, I’m not exaggerating.
        Mexico has had Cruz azul and America in the libertadores final and they lost in super dramatic fashion. The fields are ugly, refereeing is bias, fans spit at you and even the opposing coaching staff gets on your ass.
        Libertadores is the total opposite of Uefa champions in terms of atmosphere and organization.
        Teams rumble when they lose, it happens in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina.

  21. The schedule/travel hurdles would be hard to overcome. But if some kind of north + south american champions league could be created, it would be an awesome event to watch as fans and it would be a huge opportunity for the best MLS teams to play tougher competition and push MLS to get better faster.

  22. If you’re gonna make teams travel the distances we’re talking about, then just try to make a push into UEFA. It’s about as realistic a possibility (not at all), and if you’re going to shoot for the stars wanting to play against the best, then that’s just as reasonable as NY, CHI, TOR, VAN, SEA traveling to Chile. Practically 40% of the leage would have an absolutely absurd travel schedule for that kind of game.

    MLS has enough challenges scheduling around the World Cup, much less that. Of course it’d be cool to see, but I don’t think it’ll happen. It’s been kicked around for years. And the Mexican FA and USSF don’t care to not qualify for the World Cup. Never see them leaving CONCACAF.

    • I had this thought too. Why put in all the effort and money to travel to play some team in Paraguay (for example) that most MLS fans have never heard of when you could put about the same effort into traveling to play in the UEFA tournaments against pretty well-known teams, making it likely to draw more fans?

      Not that either is likely to happen, but I’m not sure what MLS teams get out of joining the Copa.

  23. Mexican teams in Copa Libertadores aren’t even the Mexican Champions as CONACACF Champions League takes priority. If MLS teams go to Copa LIb, they wouldn’t be teams 1-4, they would be 4-8. Huge Gap.

    • +1 the idea of playing in Copa Libertadores is really exciting but not the way Mexico does it.

      Not sure i want to see some case where the champions go to ccl and the runners up go to the copa or viseversa (basically making ccl the europa league of this continent)

      I would give ligaMX’s spots to the CCL finalists… Open it up to all of concacaf (most likely a mexican and usa team).

    • John, Huge gap ?

      DC just finished with close to the worst record in MLS history and are now battling for the championship. Where is the huge gap ? This isn’t some joke Euro league like LaLiga, MLS has no huge gaps.

      • this is more true today than ever imo, but that said there is a noticeable difference in quality in MLS as you drop down the table

      • But it still varies from year to year. There are perennial stinkers (Chivas), but look at TFC this year. They’ve been utter crap since they entered the league, now they’re in position to make the playoffs. Any team can contend, assuming ownership actually makes an effort.

      • absolutely, I agreed with you! and the difference from top to bottom is still seems real year to year too

      • La Liga is a joke? You’ve instantly lost all your credibility. But of course, MLS is the real deal. Who need Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Bale, Di Maria, James, when you can watch Steven Lenhardt dazzle with his skills.

      • Bahhh, you know he’s talking about the competitive imbalance in La Liga. It is a joke if you’re a fan of Granada, Osasuna, Valladolid, etc. They have a better chance of winning the World Series than winning La Liga.

      • And yet:

        “Premier League: 4 different winners since 2000, La Liga: 5 different winners since 2000 #LaLigaIsBoringAndUncompetitive” – Phil Kitromilides

      • This is a good observation. Objectively speaking, the gulf between the top five and bottom five in La Liga is not wider than the gulf between the top and bottom in the EPL. I think American soccer fans – myself included – have an overwhelming pro-EPL bias. It’s probably because the EPL is more accessible. More TV.

      • absolutely, i think that plays into it for sure. as a Real Madrid fan who has had GolTV and beIN Sports, i’ve always been able to watch La Liga too. but i imagine this will be a problem until beIN Sports move to a different tier. and with the Bundesliga coming to Fox soon, La Liga may fall further behind.

    • Libertadores should take over. Concacaf sucks. If you want tove the best beat the best. Otherwise,settle for playing small teams in Central American. Ooooohmaybe a trip to Trjnidad

      • You’re overlooking what MLS teams have been able to do with $3.1 million. We haven’t quite been able to knock Liga MX teams off the mountain, but each year we come closer and closer. And we’ve done it with much less than the Mexican teams. There’s a certainly level of guile that’s required to be a GM in MLS. It’s being incredibly methodical, rather than throwing cash at guys.

        Imagine what LA, Seattle, SKC, Portland, RSL, or any of the ambitious teams could do with just another million…

      • not overlooking it at all. Liga MX teams, for a LONG time, were basically fielding their reserve teams for these games though. it wasn’t until MLS started to get a bit better that we have seen this kind of change where MLS teams are competing. but sure, maybe i’m exaggerating a bit in saying $9m won’t cut it. they could do a lot with that.

        i would hope by the time the 2018 World Cup ends, we’re looking at:
        1. a cap of around $10m
        2. 4 DP slots w/ a minimum salary of $1m
        3. US players not counting against the DP limit
        4. the removal of allocation money.

        this way the cap is not only artificially increased. if we add the value of allocation money to the cap and stop with this paying down contracts strategy, we’ll effectively raise the cap with funds that already existed in another form anyway. because in the end, if Seattle pays down $1m in a contract with allocation funds, it’s not like they aren’t paying the player that $1m. it is just a way to get $1m off the cap space. so lets just, in this example, increase it by $1m and save all the trouble.

        this also gives us another DP slot and allows teams to sign big name US players to DP-level contracts without it counting against their DP limit. this encourages the signing of US players.

        and lastly, teams can afford to pay players like Valeri good money without it taking a DP slot.

  24. is this the beginning of the end of CONCACAF? Will it soon become the equivalent of Oceania?

    say USA and Mexican clubs participate in this league and soon enough join CONEMBOL. will costa rica do the same? Or will Honduras and Canada be the giants of the region?

    • CONCACAF just put three of four nations in the knockout round of a World Cup, one of which demolished the champion of Oceania in a qualification playoff. There is no comparison between the two federations, honestly; Oceania essentially died when Australia left, so it would take the U.S. and Mexico joining CONMEBOL to reach a doomsday scenario, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      • Benj, I think that is what he is saying, when Australia left…Oceania went to heck.

        He is saying IF US and Mexico were to leave. agree though that is not happening.

      • I might have misread your post and made a redundant point. That being said, I would posit that Australia leaving Oceania was much more attractive than the U.S. or Mexico leaving CONCACAF. CONCACAF has multiple decent national teams, and if Canada ever gets competitive, would have three relatively large nations carrying the banner (plus Costa Rica, which just gained a lot of prestige this summer). The second best team in Oceania when Australia left was New Zealand, and they probably couldn’t make the Hex on a consistent basis (After New Zealand, there are basically no national teams of consequence in that region). After my above rambling, I guess my final point is that comparing CONCACAF to Oceania is not particularly valid in my opinion, at any rate. Even if you took the U.S. and Mexico out, there would still be a number of valid national sides remaining in CONCACAF (a lot less money, but still some decent squads).

      • I would compare Oceania to the Caribbean nations, last time one made it out of the hex was Trinidad & Tobago in 2006

  25. I don’t know, MLS teams are regularly manhandled by Mexican sides.

    Playing teams from Argentina/Brazil/Colombia, etc. could burst the Garber safety bubble and the illusion that MLS is somehow a competitive league.

    If US soccer is serious about moving forward, the national team should participate in CONMEBOL qualifications for the World Cup in the first place. Playing El Salvador and St. Kitts to get to the World Cup is a joke and we all know it.

    • “…could burst the Garber safety bubble and the illusion that MLS is somehow a competitive league.”

      No one believes MLS is competitive on a global scale, only within itself as a league. Apples and oranges. If we want to be competitive on a global scale, then MLS would basically have to throw the whole parity/salary philosophy out the window.

    • I’d say that the latest CCL matchups have at least been competitive. And then you look at Libertadores runs by teams like Tijuana, and you have to imagine that bigger MLS teams could at least hold their own.

      Also, playing CONMEBOL diminishes the novelty of playing those teams at the World Cup. You want to have played almost half the teams at the WC before the WC even starts? And yes, CONCACAF has its minnows, but that’s why 3 1/2 spots is a fair allocation. I’d say that there are several other continents that deserve culling before we do…

    • MLS teams don’t have the depth to add this sort of competition to the schedule right now.

      Especially at the top of the table, MLS starting 11’s are pretty good, certainly Championship caliber, regardless of what the Eurosnobs say. The problem is that the bottom of the rosters are populated by guys making $36K a year. When MLS teams dip to their bench, especially midweek, in CONCACAF Champions League matches, the lack of depth is often glaring.

      I do think MLS is going about its business largely in the right way, growing the league as a whole rather than allowing one or two teams to dominate – and incidentally, basically turning us into a glorified Scottish Premier League – but it’s also hampered us in the CCL and it would get us murdered in the Copa right now.

      Maybe 10 years from now…but right now, MLS is not ready to do this idea justice.

      • I think the parity in the league is what makes it great. Wouldn’t be too fun for most people if it is NY vs LA every year in the finals.

    • Well, if the Garber’s safety bubble bursts, it would be a good thing, wouldn’t it? If MLS were to introduce basic competitive principles within the league (which includes promotion/relegation, no salary cap, free agency for players, etc), the quality of product on the field would improve tremendously. Would players rather play in Mexico or certain South American countries (where player’s family members kidnappings are common, etc) or the US/Canada, if the salaries were comparable? The cream of the crop players will go straight to European leagues, but MLS can capture the next tier, which has plenty of quality players.

      • Good grief, do you people ever go away ?

        They just said, this will NEVER happen. They didn’t say, oh if we don’t win Copa Lib in 30 years we will think about it.
        They said it will never happen.

        As in ever. If you don’t like it, don’t watch.

      • + 1

        I cannot tell if this is just trolling at this point. I have never seen folks post so much about something they clearly don’t like or care for. MLS is what it is if you don’t care for it then by all means go and enjoy something else – there’s plenty of soccer on TV these days.

      • people are just disappointed that our one and only 1st division league in this great country has decided that second rate is enough to aspire to.

      • patience my man, enjoy its year over year improvement as it’s happening, and it’s happening…enjoy the ride!

      • Yup.
        Actually, it is pretty incredible how far things have progressed over the last 5-7 years. Leaps and bounds. The quality of play is much better, but even more encouraging is ownership and the infrastructure- stadiums, development. The next great hurdle is localized team TV deals which will propel budgets up to the next level and incentive teams to push the cap up to levels able to compete internationally and further fund development. The train does seem to be gaining momentum.

      • Thank you.

        I agree with Beto’s idea, it’s just his conclusion that’s wrong. No one is settling for anything, but what we are doing is trying to make sure the whole show doesn’t implode NASL-1983-style before we get where we all want to go. And the progress that’s been made year-over-year is absolutely happening and in fact gaining velocity.

      • The salary cap is going to do up and then MLS will have better players and be more competitive globally. It doesn’t happen immediately. Some people’s impatience is ridiculous.

        As recently as 1995 there was no professional league in this country. Now there’s a 21 team league, playing mostly in SSS, with average per game attendance higher than the NBA and NHL. That’s pretty impressive. I don’t want to hear about how great European leagues are. The Football League started in 1888, they’ve had a bit of a head start.

  26. Not only will the travel suck but this will just end in embarrassment for the MLS. If we can barely compete in the CONCACAF Champions League the Argentinian and Brazilian teams will just destroy our teams.

  27. It’s 7,000 miles from Vancouver to Buenos Aires. Seven. Thousands. Miles. That’s New York to London… and back again.

    Once supersonic flight becomes a viable option, then maybe CONCACAF and CONMEBOL can talk about it.

    • *Once supersonic flight becomes viable Again. It’s so strange to think that it was available 20 years ago and not today. Maybe MLS should buy a concord from the scrap-yard.

      • I thought about that as I typed it. Concorde was the once and future supersonic vehicle, and only went out of service 11 years ago. That said, it was never truly a viable option for the masses, and certainly wouldn’t be for the MLS proletariat and their tight budgets. A roundtrip ticket, JFK > LHR, cost $10,000 around the year 2000. That’s like $14,000 today.

      • The Concord was only supersonic over water. Regulations don’t allow supersonic flight over land. Hence why the main flight was NY to London.

    • If we look at the dilemma through the lens of the current Copa Libertadores, then yes it is easy to see logistical problems, with travel distance being one big potential reason to say “Impossible!” Schedule alignment is another concern…. There are many reasons to discard this idea in that way.

      But there is almost certainly some solution, as far as I’m concerned, if you set the only parameters as: CONMEBOL and CONCACAF want to have an integrated club championship for the region. Put everything on the table and see if there is a way to make the pieces fit so that the tournament is something everybody wants more than the current situation. Maybe it doesn’t need to be held every year. Maybe you can only hold it in odd numbered years. Neutral venues? Maybe. Does it replace any existing competitions? Maybe not. Could be lots of things….

      Really, you don’t have to call it the Libertadores — you don’t actually have to “do away” with the current tournament at all. But there’s a reason that the Copa America is being held off-cycle and in another hemisphere next year. And most everybody agrees (without actually having tried yet, it should be said) that CONCACAF has money and markets that CONMEBOL would like to access, and can offer the competitive credibility that CONCACAF will lack indefitnitely as a standalone. The value of the trade-off is even more apparent at the club level than the int’l level, the CONCACAF Champions League is an ugly affair that has no apparent fans, and CONEMBOL isn’t so snooty that they wouldn’t overlook a few glaring logistical challenges that are not solved entirely (somebody plopped a World Cup down across the knockout stages of this year’s competition)

      Somebody just has to come up with an elegant solution. The Club World Cup exists, for crying out loud, and that is an embarrassingly simplistic non-idea.

    • Hear, hear! I love MLS in real life, but in FIFA it tends to not be as fun to play in Career Mode as the big European Leagues.

      • Yup. My biggest problem with FIFA has been the lack of teams in the Western Hemisphere to have a proper Champions League for CONCACAF or Copa Liberatores. At the very least, open up the teams as a DLC. I’ll gladly pay for it.

      • Not to be pedantic, but for some reason nobody ever remembers that most of the EPL, La Liga, Primeira Liga, and a handful of Ligue 1 teams are all based in the Western Hemisphere. I don’t know why that irks me – ok, back to my geography bee.

      • I’ve moved the Galaxy to League 2 and gotten promoted to the Prem. It’s way more fun than a single league in MLS.

      • I place the top mls teams in the EPL and place all the rest in the championship. It’s pretty fun to see who stays up and who gets promoted.

      • What’s amazing is that it kind of is in there if you have the game app for your phone, but not for the consoles. It’s a watered down version called the Americas Champions Cup where 4 MLS, 5 Liga MX, 5 Brazilian, River Plate and Boca Jr’s compete in a 2 leg knockout tournament. It’s based off the Gamecube/PS2 generation programming and hasn’t been updated since…

  28. If I could see my Timbers play my Universitario, I would die of happiness & couldn’t choose a side. The team of my family, or the team that has become family?

    • OK Ives, Don Garber, and Prettypengiun (please send pic), this is how its going to go down. MLS is starting to do things right, so whats going to happen is that discussions between Conmebol, Liga MX, and MLS during the Copa Americana Centenario will center primarily on the massive amounts of money to now be made from the english and spanish speaking soccer viewing public in the US. With this in mind, they’ll propose bringing back the Copa MercoSur and Copa MercoNorte (wiki it…it preceeded the Copa Sudamericana) as a warmup of sorts to MLS in Copa lib. This will happen right after summer 2016, so as to capitalize on the copa america in the US. However, the new formation will put Bolivia and Peru into the Copa MercoSur with US, Mex, and CR being added to Ven, Ecua, and Cololmbia for MercoNorte. The 6 teams to proceed from group stage will then go into the knock out stage with the final 10 fromMercoSur. In other words, since CCL now involves MLS teams traveling to Guyana, and traveling to Bogota is about the same, it is only at the knockout stage of CopaMercoSur/MercoNorte that MLS teams will be required to fly hella long to Argie or Uruguay (sorry for “hella”, I’m from oakland). After a couple of years, then we’ll see MLS in Copa Lib. As for CCL, minimize. The quicker, the better. Go down from 24 teams at group stage to 16…hella quick….maybe even to just 12 teams in 2 years, and maybe even have it over one or two weekends.


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