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CONCACAF Champions League rule change means Timbers in, RSL out for 2014/15

Dec 13, 2013, 6:52 PM EST

CCL-Feature

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.

  1. corgster - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    RSL and all of MLS were on notice of the impending change. They just didn’t achieve it.

    • kirielson - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Honestly this is one of the very few times I think the League should interfere and say “RSL gets it this year”.

      • danielofthedale - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        But MLS said they were petitioning for this change months ago. It was public and I am sure the teams knew this was a real possibility. I see no reason for MLS to push back something they publicly wanted to happen once it has happened

  2. rphillish - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Tough break for RSL, but I kind of like the idea of the two conference leaders getting the spot instead of the MLS Cup runner up. Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing for the league to stand up for RSL, but on the other hand, RSL blew all 3 shots, US Open Cup, MLS Cup and the Western Conference, at getting into the CCL.

  3. hildezero - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    As much as I would like to have Real in the Champions League, I think this is a better move for the league. MLS Cup final Runners-up playing in the CCL never made sense. It’s fair to let the opposite conference winner compete in it instead.

  4. footballer4ever - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    RSL loses Jason Kreis, now they lose a CCL spot, what’s next? The nucleus of footballers start to break apart? As the Real Salt Lake world turns upside down…..

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