Straight off the press release from MLS…
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TIMBERS TO COMPETE IN 2014-15 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, CONCACAF APPROVES AMENDMENT TO QUALIFICATION PROCESS FOR U.S. CLUBS
Portland to join Sporting KC, New York Red Bulls and D.C. United to represent MLS next summer
NEW YORK (December 13, 2013) – CONCACAF announced today that its Executive Committee approved the amendment to the allocation of the four U.S. berths in the CONCACAF Champions League qualification process.
Beginning with the 2014-2015 edition, the four U.S. berths will be awarded to: (1) the MLS Cup champion, (2) MLS Supporters’ Shield winner, (3) the MLS club with the best regular season record in the conference opposite the Supporters’ Shield winner, and (4) the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion. The qualification method for the third berth listed above replaces the slot previously awarded to the MLS Cup runner-up.
In light of the CONCACAF decision, the clubs representing the U.S. in the 2014-2015 Champions League will be:
- · Sporting Kansas City – MLS Cup 2013 champion
- · New York Red Bulls – MLS Supporters’ Shield winner in the 2013 regular season
- · Portland Timbers – MLS club with best regular season record in the conference opposite the MLS Supporters’ Shield winner
- · D.C. United – Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 2013 champion
Should there be any duplication in the above U.S. berths, or if a Canadian club captures any of the above, the U.S.-based MLS team with the next best regular season point total, irrespective of conference, will claim the duplicated slot.
“Achievement in the MLS regular season is important,” said MLS Executive Vice President for Competition, Technical and Game Operations, Nelson Rodriguez. “Awarding a spot to the points leader from both conferences is a worthy reward and confers greater importance on regular season matches.”
Major League Soccer originally proposed the change to US Soccer Federation, which was then subsequently approved. US Soccer submitted the request to CONCACAF.
All MLS clubs were made aware of the proposed change prior to the start of the 2013 season. Canada’s lone Champions League berth is awarded to the winner of the Canadian Championship.
The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League advances to the prestigious FIFA Club World Cup which takes place every December.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 18th season featured 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; LA Galaxy; Montreal Impact; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Expansion teams New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club will begin play in 2015. For more information about MLS, log on to the league’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.