Concacaf announced plans to introduce the Concacaf League of Nations, a new national team competition to be played between World Cup cycles.
The main effect of the competition, which will
include tiered-play, is intended to fill out the calendar for Concacaf's many small teams, mostly from the Caribbean, who typically play few competitive games in a four-year cycle.
FAQ, Concacaf pointed out
that a couple of examples: St. Martin, which played in two competitive
matches in 2014-16, would play 12-16 consequential encounters, and Belize, whose competitive schedule would jump from 14 competitive matches over the same period to 18-30.
For the USA and
Mexico, it will mean the many international friendlies they play will be curtailed and their schedules during FIFA windows would be filled up with dates against Concacaf rivals. UEFA is introducing a
League of Nations of its own, reducing dates for friendly games.
Former U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann
stressed the importance of playing international soccer's top teams, and the USA
beat Italy, Germany and the Netherlands on the road in friendlies played in 2012 and 2013.
Mexico's international matches on U.S. soil are a bonanza for the Mexican federation and SUM, its
U.S. marketing arm.
Concacaf's position on friendlies:
"While the opportunities for friendlies within the FIFA international match
calendar will be limited, there will still be space for these types of encounters. In broader terms, the League of Nations aligns CONCACAF with the general movement in the world of international
football, away from low-stakes friendly matches."