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Friday, June 3, 2011

U.S. Better Off with Condensed Version CONCAF

CONCACAF for those who might not know stands for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

It looks to be a distinct possibility the CONCACAF will break up into 2 groups after the fallout from the FIFA scandal involving payouts to the CONCACAF president, Jack Warner.  What this means is the U.S. splinters off with Canada, Mexico and the 7 Central American countries, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and Belize, while the Caribbean countries form their own group.  Thus, any Champions League format and World Cup qualifiers would be played only among the ten countries making up North America and Central America, very similar to how South America does their Champions League and World Cup qualifiers among ten countries (Ghana, Suriname and other smaller island countries are not included in the South American group).  This idea is broken down in Grant Wahl's SI.com story, dated June 2, 2011.

The Confederation of North and Central American Football (which would be more aptly named, Soccer Associations of North and Central America, SANCA) would bring more rivalries and clarity to International Soccer for fans of the U.S.

Though a decent amount of the population in the U.S. comes from Caribbean countries, the matches don't take on enough meaning.  The U.S. seems to be too much of a titan and it doesn't seem like the U.S. comes out a winner even when it wins.  Any loss or tie to a Caribbean team is like a history lesson and an embarrassment. 

The U.S. can increase its Soccer profile throughout the world with more wins against countries with more polished reputations, like Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras.

Wins against neighboring countries will provide more compelling storylines too-because proportionally speaking, there are many more people from Canada, Mexico and Central American countries in the U.S. than Caribbean countries.

If the split among regions happens, there will be more attention to the matches overall because play among the teams will happen much more frequently.

Also, with less possible clubs to reach Champions League, the public might be able to get to know club teams more easily.  The Champions League matches may carry more weight.

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