Wait, there’s a CONCACAF Champion’s League? That’s crazy! You can’t just have a Champion’s League anywhere! Or can you? Yes, yes you can. And they’ve even got group play and everything on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. You can take a look at the standings here.
This is the first year of the CONCACAF Champion’s League, which features eight seeded clubs from the various countries involved. There are two from Mexico and the US and one from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama who are seeded into the group play stage. Sixteen other teams were entered in the preliminary round to win the right to be cannon fodder for the seeded teams. Once group play ends in late October, the winners will begin elimination round home-and-home matches in February with the championship in April, meaning we’re probably going to lose interest before then. The eventual champion will get a chance to get destroyed play in the UEFA Champion’s League and the FIFA Club World Cup next year. Not too shabby.
There are only two MLS teams left: DC United and Houston Dynamo. Why not more MLS teams? Because the New England Revolution dropped their home-and-away matchup with Joe Public FC from Trinidad and Tobago. You read that right, Joe Public FC, better known as the Eastern Lions. They beat the Revolution 4-0 at Foxboro to win the pairing and move into the group stage. They are now 0-2 in the group stage with a -4 goal differential. There’s no poetry in the CONCACAF Champion’s League anymore.
Joe Public’s owner happens to be Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF and a vice-president of FIFA. He also bought all the 2006 World Cup tickets allocated to his country so anyone who bought them would have to buy a full travel package from HIS travel company, and made quite a bit of money off the deal before being lightly reprimanded by FIFA. So there’s that. He’s had quite a few run-ins with various English football clubs and the English national team as well. He called the English national side “an irritant” and said they’ve never “made any impact on football” despite inventing the sport. He was recently called a “clown” by Sunderland manager Roy Keane.
As I said, the American teams left are DC United (0-0-2 in group play) and Houston Dynamo (0-0-1). Thanks to Booter and some quick googling, the Houston team shall now forever be referred to as Dynamo Houston. Why, you ask? It turns out every team with Dynamo in their name such as Dynamo Berlin, Dynamo Kiev, and Dynamo Moscow, were all affiliated with the Stasi and KGB from the Soviet Union. You may notice some Soviet-style artwork in the Dynamo Berlin logo. So let’s all celebrate communist oppression with some soccer! Yes! One can only hope naming the Houston club “Dynamo” was an honest mistake on the part of MLS and not an intentional nod towards the Cold War. Actually, I kind of hope it was intentional.
So between extreme corruption and references to communism, I’d say this inaugural Champion’s League is off to a rousing start. And is in no way a money-grab based on the success of the Super Liga. So we salute our eventual CONCACAF Champion’s League Overlords and hope one day the MLS will be a respectable footballing league. Keep the dream alive!