MIAMI – Now here’s something interesting and different: the winner of Major League Soccer’s MLS Is Back tournament will receive a spot in the Concacaf Champions League.
The confederation announced Wednesday morning that it had approved a request from U.S. Soccer for a one-year alteration to the federation’s CCL spots to support the MLS Is Back tournament.
The tournament kicks off in Orlando on July 8.
The winner of the MLS Is Back competition will qualify for the 2021 CCL, regardless of whether it is a U.S. or Canadian club. This will replace the CCL spot normally awarded to the MLS regular season points leader in the conference opposite the Supporters’ Shield winner.
Concacaf agreed to grant U.S. Soccer’s request, and to support MLS with their tournament, following positive conversations with Canada Soccer, and a commitment from MLS that if a Canadian team wins MLS Is Back it will compete in the Canadian Championship.
In a press release, the confederation said that the decision has no bearing on Canada Soccer’s qualification spot into the 2021 CCL. Canada Soccer will continue discussions internally to determine the criteria of how they would recommend to qualify a Canadian club to the 2021 SCCL in the event that the same team wins the MLS Is Back tournament and the Canadian Championship. Such a recommendation would require Concacaf Council approval.