CONCACAF to seek change in World Cup Qualifying format
CONCACAF will propose a change in its qualifying format for the 2014 World Cup, starting with a preliminary knockout stage followed by three group phases, the confederation Executive Committee decided Friday.
Meeting at CONCACAF's New York headquarters, the committee decided to submit to FIFA the new structure aimed at guaranteeing more early round matches.
"In response to the needs of our membership, we are proposing a new system that will provide substantially more playing opportunities while producing a fair and compelling qualifying competition," CONCACAF President Jack Warner said.
The Executive Committee also awarded the 2012 Women's Olympic qualifying tournament to Canada and chose Guadalajara, Mexico, for the site of its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2011. FIFA suspends El Salvadoran federation
The FIFA Emergency Committee suspended the El Salvadoran Football Federation on Tuesday, citing governmental interference in violation of the world body's statues. I
n a letter to Reynaldo Vasquez, the president of the normalizing committee administering the Salvadoran federation, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the Emergency Committee determined that the Salvadoran's government refusal to recognize Vasquez's panel was "clear intervention."
It further said the government must formally accept the legitimacy of the normalizing committee and abide by the new statutes of the committee by June 8, after which the suspension will go before full FIFA Congress. If it does not comply, and the FIFA Congress formally approves, the suspension could not be lifted until the next FIFA Congress in June 2011.
Six more berths secured, seven still undecided; Draw set for May 19
The Puerto Rico Islanders captured the CFU Club Champions Cup on Sunday and will lead the Caribbean's three-team contingent into the CONCACAF Champions League. Three other berths were claimed from Central America, leaving seven places still undecided in the 24-team field. The qualified teams will learn their Champions League fate May 19 when the tournament draw is held at the confederation's New York headquarters to set the Preliminary Round pairings and Group Stage brackets.
The Liguilla of the Torneo Bicentenario reached the semifinals this past weekend as Pachuca upset regular-season leader Monterrey 3-1 on aggregate to advance Saturday. Morelia eliminated second-ranked Guadalajara 1-0 to advance on a 5-2 aggregate. On Sunday, Toluca held off América 1-0 at home following a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Azteca last week while Santos advanced on a 2-1 aggregate despite losing to Pumas 1-0. Toluca next will play Pachuca while Santos will face Morelia. The finalists will join Monterrey and Cruz Azul in the 2010-11 Champions League.
Olimpia fell 1-0 to Motagua on Saturday but won the Honduran Clausura title thanks to a 3-1 win in the first leg. Olimpia finished with more points over the past two seasons than fellow Champions League qualifier Marathon, and will begin play in the Group Stage. Guatemala Xelaju edged Suchitepequez 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw on Saturday to reach the Clausura final in Guatemala where it will face Municipal. Since Muncipal, which defeated Comunicaciones 3-2 on aggregate, already has qualified for the Champions League, Xelaju assured itself of a tournament berth by having earned more points over both seasons than Apertura runner-up Comunicaciones.
Saprissa won 4-2 over San Carlos in the first leg of the Clausura finals in Costa Rica on Sunday, and will claim the title with a draw or victory in the second leg, The Clausura winner will qualify for the Champions League Group Stage while fellow Costa Rican club Brujas will begin play in the Preliminary Round.
Aguila and Isidro Metapán have advanced to final of the Salvadoran Apertura. Aguila held off Vista Hermosa 1-0 Saturday to advance while Metapan beat Firpo 2-1 Sunday to complete a 4-3 aggregate victory. CD FAS won the Apertura title and already has claimed its place in the Champions League.
San Francisco will be looking to reach its third straight Champions League when it faces Apertura champion Arabe Unido in the single match Clausura final on Friday. If San Francisco, loses, Tauro FC will claim Panama's other spot based on having earned more points over both seasons among the runners-up.
Real Esteli drew 0-0 with Walter Ferreti in the second leg of the Clausura finals in Nicaragua on Sundays and won the league title on away goals. Esteli will advance to the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League pending the approval of a stadium in Nicaragua.
The Nutrilite Canadian Championship will reach its midpoint Wednesday when the Montreal Impact hosts Toronto FC. The Vancouver Whitecaps scored a 90th-minute goal this past Wednesday to draw 1-1 with Montreal, leaving Toronto atop the three-team tournament with three points. The winner will receive a Preliminary Round berth in the Champions League. For details of the Whitecaps-Montreal match and a full schedule and standings please click here.
The Puerto Rico Islanders became the third team to qualify for a third straight CONCACAF Champions League, getting a 90th-minute goal from Josh Hansen for a 1-1 draw with Joe Public on Friday that sent both to next season's confederation championship tournament. San Juan Jabloteh beat Bayamon FC 4-1 in Friday's other match that earned it the third and final berth from the Caribbean. Nicholas Adderly scored in the 19th minute to lift Puerto Rico over Jabloteh 1-0 on Sunday and clinch the Caribbean club title. Bayamon FC defeated Joe Public 3-1 to relegate the Trinidadian side to second place.
Mexico begins U.S. tour before heading to World Cup
Mexico drew 0-0 with Ecuador 0-0 on Friday before a crowd of77,507 at the New Meadowlands Stadium, a $1.6 billion facility in suburban New York across the street from its 5-0 victory over the United States in the Gold Cup final nine months ago.
The match was start of a three-match U.S. tour that traveled to Chicago on Monday and a 1-0 victory over Senegal. The trip will conclude with a match Thursday in Houston in Angola before El Tri returns to Mexico for a World Cup "sendoff" game against Chile on May 17. Haiti falls to Argentina 4-0
Argentina defeated Haiti 4-0 on Wednesday in Ipira, Argentina. Facundo Bertoglio scored two goals for the South American side. Argentina's next and final World Cup tune-up will be against CONCACAF side Canada in Buenos Aires on May 24.
Major League Soccer to expand to Montreal
Montreal became the 19th franchise in Major League Soccer on Friday, joining fellow Canadian clubs Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the American first division. Toronto has played in MLS since its inception in 2007.
Vancouver will begin play in MLS next year and Montreal is slated to step up in 2012, MLS said. The three sides all play for the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which decides Canada's lone berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The team will play at a renovated Saputo Stadium and a select number of games at the adjacent Olympic Stadium, the site of the largest crowd in Champions League history - 55,571 for a February 2009 quarterfinal against Santos Laguna. Harbour View wins Jamaican title
Harbour View defeated Boys Town 2-1 on Wednesday to capture the Jamaica Digicel Pro League crown with two matches to spare. It was Harbour View's third win in three matches in the championship round, earning it a third title.
National association friendlies
5:05:2010: Ipira, Argentina
ARGENTINA - HAITI 4:0
5:06:2010: Iquique, Chile
CHILE - TRINIDAD 2:0
5.07.2010: East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA:
MEXICO - ECUADOR 0:0
5.10.2010: Chicago, USA:
MEXICO - SENEGAL 1:0
5.13.2010: Houston, USA:
MEXICO - ANGOLA
5.17.2010: Mexico City:
MEXICO - CHILE
ENGLAND - MEXICO
5.24.2010: Buenos Aires:
ARGENTINA - CANADA
NETHERLANDS - MEXICO
5.26.2010: Lens, France:
FRANCE - COSTA RICA
5.29.2010: Mérida, Venezuela:
VENEZUELA - CANADA
HONDURAS - NORTH KOREA
6.01.2010: Sion, Switzerland:
SWITZERLAND - COSTA RICA
6.03.2010: TBD, Belgium:
ITALY - MEXICO
6.05. 2010: Bratislava, Slovakia:
SLOVAKIA - COSTA RICA
6.05.2010: Roodepoort, South Africa:
UNITED STATES - AUSTRALIA
9.04.2010: Montreal, Canada:
CANADA - HONDURAS
CANADA - UKRAINE