Mexico’s Monterrey moves into FIFA Club World Cup

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Most soccer fans on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border forgot about the CONCACAF Champions League the moment the last U.S. team was eliminated. That was the Galaxy, tossed aside by a team from Canada, which itself would soon be taken behind the barn and put out of its regional misery.

Actually, check all that.

Most soccer fans on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border couldn’t tell you a thing about the CONCACAF Champions League unless you handed them a laptop, reminded them about Wikipedia and told them what that ridiculous acronym stood for.

The CONCACAF Champions League may one day gain a modicum of prominence in the American sports scene – or at the very least, in the domestic soccer scene. A good first step would be for a U.S. club to finally qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup – which is the big pot of media gold at the end of the CONCACAF Champions League rainbow.

Then, as people from this land got engaged in the annual FIFA event, they might be inclined to row backward to investigate the qualifying tournament, which would add a greater awareness and sense of importance to Champions League goings-on.

Alas, that won’t be for another year. At very least.

Today, we do know who will represent the region in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup. It’s Monterrey from Mexico, making its second consecutive appearance.

Monterrey rebuffed Santos Laguna’s challenge in last night’s tournament finale.

So Santos, the team that eliminated two Major League Soccer teams in the knockout stage (Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC), won’t go to Asia this December.

And neither will Herculez Gomez, Santos’ U.S. international striker, who is having such a great spring in Mexico.