Montagliani has combined Copa talks, eyes changes to World Cup qualifying, CCL

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After speaking with CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani of Canada, a few interesting things emerged regarding the confederation and its future.

One, he had some informal talks with CONMEBOL officials last week about future combined Copa América tournaments and says formal talks would need to start in early 2017 if there’s interest on both sides.

Two, he does support changing CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in the next cycle to give more games to smaller countries, but he says he doesn’t want to take away the big USA-Mexico qualifiers that already take place. And three, look for a change in the next cycle of CONCACAF Champions League so that the bigger teams in Mexico and MLS don’t have to play as many group-stage games. He wants CCL to become a bigger event than what we’ve seen.

Another CONCACAF source–not Montagliani–said one possibility for CCL is having a “pre-qualification” that feeds into a 16-team main tournament.

As it stands in the 2016-17 edition, two MLS teams (Vancouver Whitecaps, New York Red Bulls) have clinched places in the quarterfinals, while two more (FC Dallas, Portland Timbers) are playing for their tournament lives this week–the same week they are playing for the MLS Supporters' Shield and a berth in the MLS playoffs, respectively.

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