Never underestimate the staying power of a really bad idea. And MLS teams signing up somehow for Copa Libertadores duty is a bad idea.
It may not always be this way, but it is now.
Major League Soccer needs to show it be bigger and better in its current, predominant international competition, the CONCACAF Champions League. That’s also known as “The competition where MLS teams regularly get smoked by Mexican clubs.”
Not always, of course; MLS clubs have made a little progress, punching back occasionally these days rather than always playing the part of the punching bag. But the bottom line remains the same: no MLS club has won CONCACAF Champions League, and only one has so much as made the final, Real Salt Lake back in 2011.
Monterrey just downed Santos in the most recent CONCACAF Champions League final.
That’s pretty much what MLS commissioner Don Garber just said, swatting away the latest volley of suggestions of an MLS-Copa Lib hook-up.
Remember that Copa Libertadores, South America’s club championship, has better quality teams, top to bottom. What Garber said:
We are very focused on our confederation’s tournament, the CONCACAF Champions League, and we’ve got to get into the finals and win it, and we have not been able to do that in its most recent iteration.
“I watched the Monterrey-Santos game, and it broke my heart that we didn’t have a team in it. We’ve got to get more engaged with getting better in our regional tournament. We have a goal of being one of the top leagues in the world, and we’ve got to start by being one of the top leagues in our region. Right not Mexico is doing a pretty good job of leading that front, so no conversations at all with CONMEBOL at this point.”