Sport Final CCL spot will be awarded through MLS regular season play
U.S. Soccer Decides How to Allocate Vacant U.S. Open Cup CCL Berth
With the U.S. Open Cup canceled for a second straight year, U.S. Soccer has had to consider what to do with the CCL spot that goes to its winner. View the original article to see embedded media.The 2021 MLS regular season has become a bit more meaningful, as it will now furnish three of the four clubs that will compete in next season’s Concacaf Champions League.Faced with the cancellation of the U.S. Open Cup for the second consecutive year, the U.S.
When the U.S. Open Cup was canceled by US Soccer for a second consecutive year, the Concacaf Champions League berth that typically is awarded to the winner was left up in the air. US Soccer has made a determination on how to award it for the 2022 edition of the tournament, and it’s already ruffling a few lower-division feathers.
Effectively shutting out lower-division sides from potential qualification, US Soccer has decided to award the final CCL spot to an MLS team based on its regular season performance,. A source with US Soccer declined to elaborate but said an announcement is expected Tuesday.
Concacaf Revamps Champions League Again, With Expanded Leagues Cup a Major Factor
In 2023, the Leagues Cup will become a monthlong event featuring every team in MLS and Liga MX and feed into the new CCL. View the original article to see embedded media.Concacaf, MLS and Liga MX on Tuesday afternoon unveiled a new club competition structure that will reshape men’s professional soccer across the region and especially in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The revised Concacaf Champions League format and enlarged, inclusive Leagues Cup tournament, which will feature every MLS and Liga MX team, supplant the previous overhaul unveiled in early February. The modified competitions will kick off in 2023-24.
MLS was already awarded three of four of the federation’s berths, with another allocated to the winner of the Canadian Championship. The U.S. Open Cup is the only avenue for U.S.-based teams not in MLS to potentially qualify. With the cancellation of the 2020 USOC, the Federation opted to award it to the 2019 winner — Atlanta United. That decision, while lightly mocked, did not register any serious complaints given the state of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the fact that there was no truly viable option to otherwise handle the situation, given the lower-division leagues did not complete their seasons.
This time around, the USL and NISA are operating full schedules, which could in theory allow them to send a suitably viable champion to the tournament. According to the SI report, Concacaf had little interest in awarding the slot to a lower-division side. With that constraint in place, there were few options for US Soccer, but to award the final berth to MLS, with the Federation deciding that regular-season performance should be the determining factor as opposed to playoff performance.
Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players
There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year. We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening. It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently.
Notably, the only North American lower-division team to qualify was the 2008 Montreal Impact, who won the Canadian Championship. A lower-division team has not won the U.S. Open Cup since the Rochester Rhinos won it in 1999, about a decade before the modern CCL began.
The four 2022 SCCL bids controlled by US Soccer will be awarded as follows:
- MLS Cup champion
- MLS Supporters’ Shield winner
- First place team in MLS conference opposite the Shield winner
- Next-best MLS regular season record (in lieu of U.S. Open Cup winner)
That redounds to the benefit of the Seattle Sounders, as it opens another path to qualify for Champions League in 2022. With their chances at the Supporters’ Shield tenuous at the moment, the next-best record allocation means the Sounders do not necessarily need to win MLS Cup or even place at the top of the Western Conference to receive a bid to the tournament. And if a team — say New England — wins the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup, it would open additional opportunities for the Sounders to qualify.
US Soccer is expected to revert back to its qualification procedures— prior to the Covid-19 pandemic canceling the USOC — for the 2022 season going forward.
Dillon Gabriel suffers injury on final play of UCF loss, had arm in sling .
On the final play of the game, UCF tried a hook-and-ladder play. Gabriel got injured on the play and headed off on a cart. #UCF QB Dillon Gabriel is back up and walked off on his own power to the medical cart. Riding the cart to the locker room, Gabriel clearly in pain… looked to be grabbing his lower body, hip area. Not entirely sure though. — Jason Beede (@therealBeede) September 18, 2021 Gabriel was spotted with his left arm in a sling. There was some speculation that he injured his collarbone.