MLS clubs taking part in the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League
A new edition of the Concachampions is set to start on Tuesday with the round of 16 and four Major League Clubs will try to win the title this year.
Major League Soccer keeps growing season after season and the proof of that is more elite players are coming to the league in their prime. The league is very competitive, but every time an MLS club competes in an international tournament, they falter. The proof of that is that the Liga MX clubs have won 13 consecutive CONCACAF Champions League titles and the MLS wants to end that streak.
MLS aiming to win an international trophy
The last team that was close to winning the first title for MLS was Los Angeles FC during the 2021 campaign, but they lost in the final to Tigres UANL. This year, four clubs from the United States league will compete in the 2022 tournament and not only have the chance to lift the trophy, but also to become the first MLS side to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2023.
New York City FC
The New York-based team won the 2021 MLS Cup and they have one of the best players in the league, Valentín Castellanos. The 23-year-old striker became the first player from Argentina and NYCFC to win the Golden Boot award in the history of the league and was named the Most Valuable Player. Now, NYCFC will face Costa Rican side Santos de Guapiles in the quarter-finals.
The first leg will be played on 15 February at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica and on 23 February they will return to New York to play the second leg. This is the first time in franchise history that NYCFC participates in the CCL and with the start of the MLS season they will play six games through 20 days starting on Tuesday.
New England Revolution
The Revs had a record breaking season in 2021, but failed to culminate it with winning the MLS Cup. Also, they accepted the offer from Club Brugge to transfer Tajon Buchanan last month. To compensate for the loss of one of their best players, the team managed by Bruce Arena brought in Omar Gonzalez, Sebastian Lletget and Jozy Altidore.
They qualified to the CCL because they won the 2021 MLS Supporters’ Shield and they will square off against Cavaly AS in the quarter-finals. The first leg will be played on 18 February in Haiti and four days later they will return home for the second leg.
The Seattle-based team is always a top contender to win the MLS Cup prior to the start of each season. The Sounders qualified to the CCL because they were the best 2021 MLS regular season side. Also, they have two of the best strikers in the league: Raul Ruidiaz and USMNT winger Jordan Morris. They also signed Albert Rusnak and Joao Paulo and they have one of the best rosters in MLS.
The Seattle Sounders will square off against Motagua in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final. The first leg will be played in Honduras on 17 February and seven days later they will host Motagua. Seattle has a star studded roster and they have all the weapons to make history in this year’s CCL.
Last but not least is the Rapids and they booked their ticket after winning the 2021 regular season MLS western conference. On paper they are the weakest MLS club participating in the CONCACAF Champions League, but they surprised many last season with an impressive playoff run.
They have a hardworking core of players, despite parting ways with Cole Bassett and Kelly Acosta during the offseason. The Colorado Rapids will play against Comunicaciones in the quarter-finals. The first leg will be played on 17 February in Guatemala and the second leg will be held in Colorado on 23 February.