Central American teams will have to prove it on the field if they want to qualify for the Concacaf Champions League.
The confederation announced a shift in qualification procedure for the regional club championship Monday, along with an expansion of its secondary tournament, the
All Central American teams, even champions which previously qualified directly to the Champions League, will now go through the Concacaf League to make the marquee tournament. In addition to the winner of the
While that could result in no teams from a nation qualifying for the CCL, it also could lead to more berths for a certain league. Costa Rica has two teams in the 2019 CCL, with Saprissa qualifying as the champion with the best aggregate record over short tournaments and Herediano in the tournament as the winner of the 2018 Concacaf League. However, three Costa Rican teams could land in the top five of the 2019 Concacaf League based on performance and qualify for the 2020 Champions League.
The Concacaf League's expansion will see the tournament add a preliminary round with 12 clubs playing a home-and-away series. Among the teams in that round will be the champion of the newly created Canadian Premier League. This year's entrant from Canada will be determined by a procedure set to be announced in the upcoming days by the CPL and the Canadian Soccer Association, according to Goal sources.
The aggregate winners of those matchups will move into a round of 16 where the champion of each Central American league plus another team each from higher-ranked leagues Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras, plus the Caribbean Club Championship runners-up will await them.
As in other Concacaf tournaments, teams will be ranked during the tournament based on performance with the top five teams advancing to the CCL along with the champion. The two lowest-ranked quarterfinalists will be left out.
The new bid allotment for the CCL will see four MLS teams, four Liga MX teams, the Canadian champion and the Caribbean Club Championship winner qualify in addition to the six teams from the