CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
MLS clubs want to end the 22-year championship drought in CONCACAF Champions League
The last time a team from Major League Soccer won the CONCACAF Champions League was in 2000, with the Los Angeles Galaxy reaching the glory.
The second leg of the quarter-finals will resume on Tuesday in the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League and four teams from Major League Soccer are aiming to win the title for the first time since 2000, when the LA Galaxy won it. It has been almost two decades of dominance from Liga MX clubs and MLS sides are desperate to win an international trophy.
Altidore wants to win the CCL
Former United States international Jozy Altidore arrived to the New England Revolution in the winter and he is eager to win the continental competition that has been dominated by Mexican clubs. According to Altidore, the Major League Soccer clubs need to make the Champions League a priority and not worry about what happens in the league games.
“What I would like to see is, even if it’s gotta be me one day, I’m going to build a team one day just to win the Champions League,” Altidore said in an Extratime exclusive interview. “Literally just for that because I think it’s so important for the league to win that. To have an MLS team go to the FIFA Club World Cup is huge and to consistently have that like they have in Liga MX is only going to help in so many ways. So I think you have to build a team for that competition specifically.”
Liga MX clubs come out on top
MLS sides have been close to lifting the title, but they have not been able to defeat the Liga MX clubs. Real Salt Lake (2011), CF Montréal (2015), Toronto FC (2018) and LAFC (2020) reached the final and came up short against a Liga MX side. Since 2006 Mexico’s top-flight clubs have won the CONCACAF Champions League and Major League Soccer wants to change that in the 2022 edition.
“What I would like to see is a team just say, ‘This is how we’re going to build the team with as much experience as we can, the most experience of guys that can play at that level,’” Altidore said. “Because I think you need players that can play at that level. When you play the Liga MX games, the stakes are high and the level’s a bit higher, I’ll just be honest with you. So I think that’s what you have to build for and one year I’d love to see a team just put all their resources into that and try to go for broke in that competition.”
Altidore believes that it is time for Major League Soccer clubs participating in the CONCACAF Champions League to not worry about the start of the regular season. Bosses, coaches and players need to focus on the continental tournament because there is no relegation in MLS, so it is time to focus on the Champions League.
“You’re not going to get relegated, so you’ll be able to come back in the league next year,” Altidore said. “But obviously I get that there’s ownership and there’s other things, what winning an MLS Cup does. I get all those consequences, but one day I’d love to see a team just go for broke in that competition and try to win it. But it’s easier said than done as we all know.”