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CONCACAF trio vies for slots in FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP

FIFA

Columbus Crew (USA) and Mexican duo Club America (MEX) and Pachuca (MEX) continue their quests to qualify for the inaugural Mundial de Clubes 25™ (FIFA Club World Cup 2025™) this week as they head into their Concacaf Champions Cup semi-final first legs, while the final qualifiers from Asia and Africa could be decided.

Concacaf

Monterrey (MEX) make up the final four in this season’s continental competition, but by virtue of being 2021 champions, they have already secured their place at next year’s 32-team tournament in the United States. To join them, the equation for the other three semi-finalists is simple, though far from easy: they have to win the Concacaf Champions Cup this season.

Given there is a two clubs per country limit, and that Monterrey and Club Leon (MEX) have already qualified as champions, there is no opportunity for America or Pachuca to qualify via the ranking pathway.

The country limit does not apply to continental champions, however, so either of the pair will qualify if they lift the trophy this season, which adds extra spice to Tuesday’s first leg at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The same goes for Columbus Crew, even if fellow MLS outfit Seattle Sounders (USA) are the only American club already assured of their place. The Crew’s difficulty comes in that they cannot make up the points gap in the ranking pathway to another MLS side, Philadelphia Union (USA), who are the highest-ranked non-Mexican team.

With only four places available to Concacaf teams, the Crew need to get past Monterrey and lift the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. For the Union to qualify, they need Monterrey, who travel to Columbus for Wednesday’s first leg, to knock the Crew out and then go on to win a sixth continental crown. That will open a FIFA Club World Cup 2025 qualifying place via the ranking pathway which only the Union can claim.

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