The CONCACAF Champions League has announced that thanks to a rule change regarding berths, the Portland Timbers will play in next year’s tournament, while Real Salt Lake will not.
The tournament approved an allocation switch which now allows in the MLS team which wins the conference opposite the Supporter’s Shield winner.
This year, with New York winning the Supporter’s Shield in the East, Portland will get the berth having finished best in the Western Conference.
Getting the boot, however, is the MLS Cup runners up, meaning Real Salt Lake will not get a spot next year.
The other three spots remain as is, awarded to the US Open Cup winner (DC United), the MLS Cup winner (Sporting Kansas City), and the Supporter’s Shield winner (New York Red Bulls).
The blow is a big one to Real Salt Lake, who have had a rough few days losing the MLS Cup on penalty kicks, seeing manager Jason Kreis leave for expansion team New York City FC, and now losing their CONCACAF Champions League spot.