The new club competition of Conmebol and Concacaf is fascinating

Tucked away in the last paragraph of the press release about the return of the Copa America to the United States was perhaps the biggest news of the day. Conmebol and Concacaf have decided to host a brand new Final Four tournament between the best teams of Copa Libertadores vs Concacaf Champions League.

The club angle of the Conmebol-Concacaf partnership could be the most important development for American football.

Think of the Seattle Sounders. For the first time in MLS history, there is a chance to play a competitive game against Real Madrid or Flamengo in the FIFA Club World Cup. Never mind that Seattle is the champion of North America. Sounders fans can watch their club take on major teams from around the world in officially recognized competitions, not just friendlies.

The ability to play tougher opponents is what fans crave.

Driving success

Likewise, the concept of the last four tournaments between Conmebol and Concacaf, as well as the prospect of participating in the FIFA Club World Cup, encourages teams to prioritize the Concacaf Champions League more than they currently do. In fact, this Concacaf and Conmebol club competition could be more attractive than the Club World Cup. Instead of playing against the hosts Qatar or a team from Oceania, the best teams in the Concacaf Champions League can play against the best teams from South America.

If the last four leagues had been made at all, we could have seen the Seattle Sounders play both Athletico Paranaense and Pumas against Flamengo. Both would have been fascinating games.

Even then, think about other possible matchups. Club America v River Plate. Santos vs. LAFC. Toronto FC v Palmeiras. Atletico Penarol against Monterrey.

Club competition is a win-win for Concacaf and Conmebol

The benefits for both parties are clear. Concacaf clubs have a realistic chance of more important matches. Of course, to reach this stage, they have to perform well in the Concacaf Champions League. Success there would help the adoption of intercontinental soccer in the United States.

Many football fans in the United States can recognize the names of clubs in South America. Boca Juniors and River Plate are huge. The same goes for Santos, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Corinthians. Watching your ‘local’ team compete against those teams for a trophy can help grow the fandom of ever-growing MLS teams.

On the Conmebol side, their success far exceeds that of North America for now. However, in addition to monetary gain, this is another great way to gain experience against new opponents. South American teams appreciate the FIFA Club World Cup much more than the European teams. Conmebol teams see it as the top of the metaphorical mountain peak in club football.

The club competition with Concacaf and Conmebol could be a stepping stone to reach the top of that mountain. If the first iteration of the tournament can take place as early as 2024, it could help the development of football in the Americas.

#club #competition #Conmebol #Concacaf #fascinating
CONCACAF,CONCACAF Champions League,CONMEBOL,copa liberators,League MX,Premier League football,MLS

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