MLS are getting serious about competing for the Champions League after their clubs' failures in recent years.
MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez says a sub-committee has been formed to address the issue.
“It’s recognizing that this tournament [CCL] is important,” said Rodriguez. “If we want to lay claim to being one of the best soccer leagues in the world, we have to start by laying claim to being the best league in CONCACAF.”
There are four club representatives on the subcommittee: Columbus Crew technical director Brian Bliss, Seattle Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson, D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper and Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
“The subcommittee is charged with creating an execution plan with the intent being that MLS will have more teams advance deeper in the tournament and to perennially have an MLS team in the final or win the championship,” Rodriguez told mlssoccer.com.
Among the issues that the group will tackle include: the CCL schedule, the time of year the schedule hits (including during MLS preseason), travel demands on the clubs, roster sizes and logistics.
“We’ve evolved to the point at the league where this has become a priority,” Rodriguez said. “We have enough of the other building blocks in place that we can devote and need to devote more attention to this. Success in international tournaments is important to the league from a credibility standpoint so that there is a better appreciation for how good our league really is.”