2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League
|Teams||24 (from maximum of 13 associations)|
The 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League will be the 7th edition of the CONCACAF Champions League under its current name, and overall the 50th edition of the premier football club competition organized by CONCACAF, the regional governing body of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The winner will qualify as the CONCACAF representative at the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup.
|NOTE: The following information is based on the current format of the CONCACAF Champions League, and is subject to change by CONCACAF.|
Clubs may be disqualified and replaced by a club from another association if the club does not have an available stadium that meets CONCACAF regulations for safety. If a club's own stadium fails to meet the set standards then it may find a suitable replacement stadium within its own country. However, if it is still determined that the club cannot provide the adequate facilities then it runs the risk of being replaced.
Nine teams from the North American Football Union qualify to the Champions League. Mexico and the United States are each allocated four spots, the most of any of CONCACAF's member associations, while Canada is granted one spot in the tournament.
For Mexico, the winners of the Liga MX Apertura and Clausura tournaments earn berths in Pot A of the tournament's group stage, while the Apertura and Clausura runners-up earn berths in Pot B.
For the United States, three of its four spots are allocated through the Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season and playoffs, while the fourth spot is allocated to whoever wins the domestic cup competition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The MLS Cup winner and the Supporters' Shield winner (if U.S.-based) are placed in Pot A; the regular season conference winner that is not the Supporters' Shield champion (if U.S.-based) and the U.S. Open Cup winner are placed in Pot B.
For Canada, the winner of the domestic cup competition, the Voyageurs Cup competed for in the Canadian Championship, earns the lone Canadian berth into the tournament, in Pot B. Despite the inclusion of Canadian teams in MLS, they cannot qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League through MLS, and if a Canadian-based MLS team is the MLS Cup winner or any regular season conference winner, the Champions League place is allocated to the U.S.-based team with the best MLS regular season record who has failed to otherwise qualify.
Twelve teams from the Central American Football Union qualify to the Champions League. The allocation is as follows: two teams from each of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador, and one team from each of Nicaragua and Belize.
For the Central American teams that qualify via split seasons, the aggregate record of the two tournaments within the season is used to determine which team gains the association's top spot. The pots of the teams are as follows:
- The top teams from the leagues of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama are placed in Pot A.
- The top team from the league of El Salvador, and the second teams from the leagues of Costa Rica and Honduras are placed in Pot B.
- The second teams from the leagues of Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador, and the teams from the leagues of Nicaragua and Belize are placed in Pot C.
If one or more clubs is precluded, it is supplanted by a club from another Central American association. The reallocation is based on results from previous Champions League tournaments.
Three teams from the Caribbean Football Union qualify to the Champions League. The three berths, in Pot C, are allocated to the top three finishers of the CFU Club Championship, a subcontinental tournament for clubs from associations of the Caribbean Football Union. In order for a team to qualify for the CFU Club Championship, they usually need to finish as the champion or runner-up of their respective association's league in the previous season, but professional teams may also be selected by their associations if they play in the league of another country.
If any Caribbean club is precluded, it is supplanted by the fourth place finisher from the CFU Club Championship.
The following teams qualified for the tournament.
In the following table, the number of appearances, last appearance, and previous best result count only those in the CONCACAF Champions League era starting from 2008–09 (not counting those in the era of the Champions' Cup from 1962 to 2008).
- ^ Prior to the 2013 season, Major League Soccer proposed to change the qualification rules for U.S. clubs, so that the spot previously reserved for the MLS Cup runner-up is instead awarded to the regular season conference winner that is not the Supporters' Shield champion. The United States Soccer Federation submitted the proposal to CONCACAF, and it was approved on December 13, 2013, and enacted starting from the 2014–15 tournament.
- ^ a b c On March 31, 2014, the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) announced that Valencia, which were given a bye to the final round of the 2014 CFU Club Championship, could not participate in the competition after the Haitian Football Federation failed to confirm the club as an active member of the federation due to a fallout between the club and the federation. After consultation with CONCACAF and the three first round group winners which were to play with Valencia in the final round, the three group winners, Puerto Rico Bayamón FC, Waterhouse, and Alpha United, were chosen to represent the CFU in the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League, subject to the clubs meeting the minimum standards for participation. Moreover, the final round was cancelled to save expenses for the three teams.
The 24 teams are drawn into eight groups of three, with each group containing one team from each of the three pots. The allocation of teams into pots is based on their national association and qualifying berth. Teams from the same association (excluding "wildcard" teams which replace a team from another association) cannot be drawn with each other in the group stage, and each group is guaranteed to contain a team from either the United States or Mexico, meaning U.S. and Mexican teams cannot play each other in the group stage.
|León||Mexico 2||Sporting Kansas City||New York Red Bulls|
|Costa Rica 1||Honduras 1||Guatemala 1||Panama 1|
|América||Mexico 4||Portland Timbers||D.C. United|
|Costa Rica 2||Honduras 2||El Salvador 1||Canada 1|
|Guatemala 2||El Salvador 2||Panama 2||Real Estelí|
|Belize 1||Puerto Rico Bayamón FC||Waterhouse||Alpha United|
- "CONCACAF Champions League Regulations 2013/2014". CONCACAF.com.
- "Portland Timbers headed to 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League after USSF rule change approved". mlssoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- "CONCACAF Approves U.S. Soccer’s/MLS Request to Amend Their Qualification Process to CONCACAF Champions League". CONCACAF.com. December 13, 2013.
- "CFU Gives Club Championship Group Winners Good News". CFU. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "CFU to send trio of group winners to CCL". CONCACAF.com. April 1, 2014.