Changes Loom In Champions League
Preliminary round to be eliminated from the 2012-13 CCL campaign,
all 24 teams go into groups
NEW YORK - The Preliminary Round will be eliminated from next season's CONCACAF Champions League under a format change announced Thursday by the confederation.
The four-year-old competition will remain a 24-club tournament, but instead of an initial knockout phase of 16 teams, all qualifiers will proceed to a main stage of eight, three-team groups, from which only the winners will advance to the quarterfinals.
The teams will be distributed into three categories for purposes of the draw: Category 1:
Mexico 1 & 2, USA 1 & 2, Costa Rica 1, Guatemala 1, Honduras 1, Panama 1 Category 2:
Mexico 3 & 4, USA 3 & 4, Canada 1, Costa Rica 2, El Salvador 1, Honduras 2 Category 3:
Belize 1 (pending approval of suitable stadium), El Salvador 2, Guatemala 2, Nicaragua 1, Panama 2, Caribbean Football Union 1, 2 & 3
Teams from the same country can’t be drawn into the same group, though thanks to the pan-nationalism of MLS, there is a 75 percent chance that Canada's CCL representative will be drawn into a group with one of its MLS brethren.http://www.concacaf.com/page/CL/NewsDetail/0,,12813~2575174,00.html