Monday, May 11, 2009

Honduras gets third team in Champions League?

NEW YORK (Monday, 11 May 2009) – Honduras will get a third team in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League due to Belize not meeting the standards for an adequate stadium, the confederation’s Executive Committee decided Monday.

Tournament regulations require teams play their home games within their own country in facilities that meet minimum requirements with regard to the field, lighting, changing rooms and fan amenities. CONCACAF allowed for a one-year grace period for teams to meet the standards but after that, teams were to be replaced from other countries based on the performance of their clubs in the previous Champions League.

Marathon already has assured itself of a berth in the 24-team field as winner of the Honduran Apertura championship, while the Clausura winner will claim the second berth. The team with the next most total points from both seasons will earn the third place.

The inaugural Champions League winner will be crowned Tuesday when Atlante hosts Cruz Azul in the second leg of the final in Cancun, Mexico.

The first thought is why does Honduras get a 3rd team when Canada still only gets one? Here's my thoughts: Canada has three teams playing for the right to play in this tournament, Honduras has ten. However unfair it may seem, Canada doesn't really deserve a 2nd team to be added. Once Canada gets a few more teams expanding into the USL or MLS for that matter, then it's time to take a look at it.

Overall though, I do think that there still needs to be some minor tweaking. The MLS Champions get into the tournament, however, should Toronto FC win, they do not gain automatic access. That should be fine tuned to represent that, sure it means that the U.S. lose a spot, but with increased expansion to Canada, that rule needs to be amended. Secondly, the USL Division 1 Champions should also be given a spot. You win a league, you deserve entry. Again, it would need to be fine tuned to see who wouldn't get a spot, etc, but I think it's worth a change.

So yes, Canada, down the road should get a second spot in the league, but not right now, instead fine tuning the other ways in would give Canada a better shot.


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