Everyone who pays attention soccer has at least heard of the UEFA Champions League, the single biggest club competition in all of soccer and the competition every club aspires to be a part of. But did you know that in North America there is another Champions League? No? Don’t feel like a terrible soccer fan, most people don’t know either.
The CONCACAF Champions League is the western hemispheres answer to the UEFA Champions League. The problem is the CONCACAF Champions League is, to put it lightly, boring. The teams aren’t interesting, at least not interesting enough to spark the interest of enough people so that it is a known competition. The CCL doesn’t offer much in terms of star power, when your marquee names are MLS teams and Liga MX teams you don’t get much of an audience outside of the west. When I say the CCL is boring, I don’t mean the action is. Actually, some of the CCL games I have seen have been more competitive and exciting than UCL games, but that is because the quality of players is level throughout the
whole competition. You don’t really see powerhouse clubs in the CCL because there aren’t any in the leagues that send clubs to the competition.
Did you know the quarterfinals of the CCL just wrapped up?
A big problem for CCL is that there isn’t enough star power for the media to want to cover it. There are no globally known names that are in the competition besides Landon Donovan, and he isn’t even with the Galaxy squad at the moment. Quite frankly, no one really seems to care about the CCL. Would there be a nationally televised game on ESPN if an American side didn’t get to the final of the CCL? Probably not. Come to think of it they probably wouldn’t put it on ESPN2 if TWO American teams made it to the final.
The CCL just seems like a waste of time to most people, why watch CCL when you could watch college basketball or heck even spring training baseball. The lack of caring when it comes to CCL is due in large part to the MLS not being globally recognized as a good league. It also has a lot to due with the quality of the other leagues that contribute to the CCL’s pool of teams.
Just like when it comes to the MLS I advise you to give the CCL a try, it might not give you the same exhilaration as watching Real Madrid v Manchester United in the UCL but there is some quality ball that is played in the CCL if you catch the two right teams playing.
What do you think? Do you watch CONCACAF Champions League? Why hasn’t it been more successful?
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