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Concacaf League to expand field to 22 teams

The Scotiabank Concacaf League will see a major change starting with the 2019-20 edition of the tournament.

Concacaf announced on Monday that the tournament will expand from 16 to 22 teams to include five additional Central American clubs and one Canadian Premier League club.

“We are very excited to take a major step forward to enhance our expanded Concacaf Club Competition Platform,” Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio said. “We are creating a larger Scotiabank Concacaf League that will increase the opportunities for our members in the Caribbean and Central America to play more relevant, competitive matches.”

“With 22 teams participating, the window of access is wider, providing greater chances to qualify to the region’s premier tournament for clubs, the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.”

The competition will continue to be played in a knockout format but will kick off with a preliminary round in July. 12 clubs will participate in the initial round and will be drawn into six home-and-away matches.

The winners will then join the nine ranked Central American clubs and the runner-up of the Caribbean Club Championship in the Round of 16.

In addition to qualifying its champion to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, the tournament will qualify five additional teams. At the end of the competition, clubs will be ranked 1-15, in accordance with the competition tie-breaking procedure.

The top five ranked clubs will automatically qualify for the 2020 edition of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.

For 2019, the Member Association slots have been allocated as follows:

Preliminary Round (12 clubs): Belize 1, Canada 2, Caribbean 3, Caribbean 4, Costa Rica 3, El Salvador 2, El Salvador 3, Guatemala 2, Guatemala 3, Honduras 3, Nicaragua 2 and Panama 3

Round of 16 (10 + 6 winners of the Preliminary Round): Caribbean 2, Costa Rica 1, Costa Rica 2, El Salvador 1, Guatemala 1, Honduras 1, Honduras 2, Nicaragua 1, Panama 1 and Panama 2.


  1. The Chanpionsn League fantasy continues. Fans can always solve it on paper or the internet. Its so easy there. The real issues (money, sponsers, economics and country pop of teams involved….not named Mex and US) are daunting. They will not be overcome anytime soon, and as the game grows here in the US, it will become impossible. There is a reason Mex/MLS teams r gonna bring back Superliga. CCL here is a money and time drain until the semis depending on match ups….sometimes the quarters. Remember when Saprissa was a big team in the region? Those days r over. Outside of a few hardcores whose teams are not involved no one cares. Why would they with all the other options out there? Noyngonna change all that much.

  2. So instead of 31 teams with a shot at a CCL title there will be 32? Am I right? I’m fine with the format but one more team is not a huge expansion.

  3. This is a big big preliminary step towards what I’ve been saying needs to happen for CCL to start getting bigger better ratings and following from fans.

    By expanding the Concacaf League and essentially making it a prelim tournament for Central American and Caribbean clubs to gain entry to the bigger CCL and only giving 6 total spots to Central America and the Caribbean clubs you now have paved the way to expand a MLS and LigMX heavy group stage in CCL.

    North America is ready for a real regional Champions League. Imagine groups like Atlanta , Monterrey, Seattle, Santos Latina, Marathon or NYRB, Club America, LAFC, Chivas, Olipmpia. This creates some very marketable meaningful watchable group stage matchups between successful mls clubs and ligamx clubs without having too many trash cow pastures to play on from the Central American and Caribbean clubs.

    Next step announce expanded group stage slots for mls and ligamx clubs in CCL. This is what the region needs to grab eyeballs and tv contract money. A meaningful real competition between mls and ligamx at the group stage of CCL.

    I can’t wait to start seeing weeknight matches like Atlanta v Club America in Azteca and then again at the Benz, or Seattle v Toluca, NYCFC v Monterrey, China’s v LAFC. Next level, Concacaf 2.0.

    • Not sure I followed the changes happening as well as you. Glad you are excited.

      They need to get it on TV where people like me ( and me ) can watch, because my guts tells me it will still be a while until people understand what they are missing when only 25k showed up to watch the old Monterrey vs Seattle classics…and lot less in many other incidences. Let’s face it many just aren’t that bright.

      It will be a while, but in the meantime, why do I care? Easier to get to the games. Just as enjoyable to watch….if you can watch.

      • you act as if it’s dependent on American audiences. For CCL to take off, it’s need a 3rd and 4th strong league. That doesn’t exist. The only preliminary tournament that should be organized is one involving 6 teams from Costa Rica, 3 from Panama, 3 from Dom Rep, 2 from Puerto Rico, 2 from CPL, and 1 from T&T. These countries have much higher incomes and can improve their infrastructure while creating international rosters like Liga MX/MLS. These teams will constitute clausura play, in other words a new league. The 4 semi-finalist go straight to CCL 16-team group stage.

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