Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Calendar for 2008 already getting crowded
by Ridge Mahoney, December 21st, 2007 9:46AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Three major international soccer competitions are scheduled for next year, yet there won't be a shortage of foreign opposition for MLS teams.

Starting with the Pan-Pacific Championship in February and the CONCACAF Champions Cup in March, steady doses of competitive matches and friendlies will recur regularly before, during, and after the MLS regular season.

Reports in England state that Liverpool is negotiating with MLS - as was predicted in this column last August -- to play in the All-Star Game at BMO Field in Toronto, and both Spanish giants - Real Madrid and Barcelona - are discussing with SUM three-game tours.
Liverpool had been mentioned as a possible opponent for a friendly against the Galaxy at Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) in Toronto. There have been contacts with Italian and Scottish clubs to play the Galaxy instead. Also on the list of maybes is Chelsea.

A source says a game matching one of the Spanish teams and Guadalajara will be staged at the Los Angeles Coliseum and it's possible - but doubtful - Real and Barca would play each other in the U.S. If they did, the game might be played at the Meadowlands, which is one of perhaps 10 venues that are in contention to host the six games involving a Spanish team. Others are Gillette Stadium, RFK Stadium, and Qwest Field.

Among non-MLS cities, Philadelphia is a possibility (assuming Philadelphia isn't the next expansion team chosen).

Another source says SUM officials have discussed the possibility of staging the UEFA Super Cup - pitting winners of the Champions League and UEFA Cup - in the United States or Canada. Last year's match, between AC Milan of Italy and Sevilla of Spain, was played Aug. 31 at the Stade Louis II in Monaco, which is a tough town to top.

J-League team Urawa Red Diamonds is one of the two foreign entrants in the Pan-Pacific Championship to be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu Feb. 20-23. The Australian champion won't be participating, as the A-League Grand Final conflicts with the PPC. Instead, the loser of the so-called Preliminary Final - the penultimate match prior to the Grand Final - will join Urawa in the field as basically the A-League's third-place team.

Harbour View (Jamaica) and Municipal (Guatemala) have been paired with D.C. United and Houston, respectively, in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Both MLS teams advanced last spring, only to fall against Mexican opposition at the semifinal stage.

Such matchups are likely again: the Dynamo-Municipal winner advances to meet either Saprissa of Costa Rica or Atlante of Mexico, and D.C. United or Harbour View takes on the winner of Pachuca-Motagua (Honduras).

Scheduling the second year of the SuperLiga competition, matching four MLS teams with four Mexican League rivals, is complicated by the 24-team CONCACAF Champions League, which is scheduled to start next August. The 2007 SuperLiga began in late July and concluded a month later.

Only if Mexican and MLS teams are excluded from the first Champions League round can the same time period be used. Some teams will be excluded from a preliminary round, according to one plan being discussed. Both countries will also be playing CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers beginning Aug. 20.

MLS has announced that New England, D.C. United, Houston and Chivas USA - the top four teams during the regular season - will be the league's SuperLiga 2008 entrants. The four Mexican League representatives have yet to be determined, though reports out of Mexico indicate the teams will be invited, not determined by any competitive formula. Defending SuperLiga champion Pachuca's busy schedule could preclude its participation this time around.

Those same four MLS teams are to be entered in the CONCACAF Champions League, which begins in late summer and concludes the following spring. Busy, busy.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Bruce Arena is a safe bet compared to the gamble U.S. Soccer took on Klinsmann    
It was an exciting and hopeful time, when U.S. Soccer hired Jurgen Klinsmann in the summer ...
Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. years    
More than five years with Jurgen Klinsmann in charge of the U.S. team ended Monday when ...
Tony DiCicco: Jill Ellis has USA on the right track despite Olympic setback    
Tony DiCicco remains the only coach who has guided the U.S. women to a World Cup ...
Klinsmann's promises of progress are not to be found    
The 4-0 blowout loss in Costa Rica Tuesday night is grounds for real concern, not just ...
Asleep at the wheel, an old U.S. habit    
First things first, the better team won on Friday night. Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio recalled ...
Americans' sporadic performance mars a great night for soccer    
A decade and a half of dominance crashed to earth Friday night in Columbus, where Mexico ...
Kinnear is anxious for 'awesome' encounter in Columbus    
Every time the USA plays Mexico those who have taken part in the rivalry think about ...
USL president Jake Edwards on Division II, expansion, MLS relationship and FC Cincinnati phenomenon    
Jake Edwards just completed his second season as the president of the USL. The league expanded ...
Big names laid big eggs in the MLS conference semifinals    
The byzantine MLS playoff schedule goes into hiatus at just the right time, allowing more time ...
Jermaine Jones will get USA audition in Sunday's Rapids-Galaxy playoff game    
After nearly four months on the shelf rehabbing a knee injury, midfielder Jermaine Jones has returned ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives