Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Calendar for 2008 already getting crowded
by Ridge Mahoney, December 21st, 2007 9:46AM

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
U.S. Abroad: Southampton releases Cody Cropper     
Goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who started for the USA at the 2013 U-20 World Cup and is ...
Wondo's mark of 100 goals impresses everyone but him    
San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski joined eight players in the exclusive club of 100-goal scorers by ...
MLS in Yankee Stadium completes New York City soccer tapestry    
Three days. Not much time to soak in a city's soccer culture. But this is New ...
Women's World Cup all primed to be prime-time hit    
You heard it here first: With a little luck, Fox will break the record for the ...
Orlando City staff sends right messages but lacks wiggle room    
Expansion team Orlando City SC finally won a game at home, and did so impressively by ...
College or pro? Soccer in America increasingly faces a choice of how to develop players    
The rusting, gray Commodore Barry Bridge overlooked PPL Park, wind whirled on the pitch, and patches ...
Keith Tozer: 'USA is ready for pro futsal'    
The Professional Futsal League (PFL) is slated to launch in November 2016. Keith Tozer, who has ...
USA grooms new goddess of the air    
As sports teams go, the U.S. women's national team is tough to break into. But once ...
New York derby exceeds Marsch's expectations    
If you ever questioned MLS's wisdom of putting two teams in New York, that was answered ...
The other Great Debate: how do you define a derby?    
New York City FC and the Red Bulls kick off their rivalry Sunday that some believe ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives