Welcome to CONCACAFfeinated an occasion column I started just because I couldn't get that pun out of my head. In it, we'll take a look at the various tournaments which have CONCACAF Champions League berths as their reward. All four of the US spots are filled, but there are plenty of spots still under contention.
To recap, the San Jose Earthquakes earned a Pot A spot for winning the Supporter's Shield, and the LA Galaxy earned the other Pot A spot for winning MLS Cup. Sporting Kansas City earned a Pot B spot for winning the US Open Cup, and the Houston Dyanamo got the other Pot B spot for being runner up in MLS Cup.
Down in Mexico, Club Tijuana has earned a Pot A spot for winning the 2012 Apertura and Toluca has a Pot B spot for being the Apertura runner up. Both clubs also earned spots in the 2013 Copa Libertadores for their regular season finish in the Apertura. Toluca are currently not in a Liguilla spot, but can potentially earn their way into Pot A by winning the Clasura.
It's worth noting that (as far as I can tell, winning the previous year's CONCACAF Champions League doesn't guarantee a spot in the next year's tournament. Monterrey is one point out of a Ligulla spot, in part because they chose to rest starters last weekend in preparation for facing the LA Galaxy. Santos Laguna are fairly secure in their playoff spot, but we could see a very different Liga MX lineup next CONCACAF Champions League season. Tijuana are in the tournament for the first time.
The Canadian Championship runs from April 24th to May 29th, the three MLS Canadian clubs are joined by FC Edmonton. The seeding is based on last year's MLS finish, so Vancouver gets Edmonton in the semi-finals, and that winner will face the winner of Toronto vs. Montreal. Toronto FC have won the last four Canadian Championships.
Down in Central America, we have some old friends already qualified. Alajuelense in Costa Rica, Olimpia in Honduras, Comunicaciones in Guatemala, Arabe Unido in Panama, and Isidro Metapan in El Salvador have all qualified by winning their respective country's Apertura tournament and all have experience in CONCACAF Champions League. Clasuras are still ongoing.
Nicauragua and Belize only get one berth, so their submission will be the champ with the better aggregate record over both tournaments. The three Caribbean participants will be chosen through the 2013 CFU Club Championship.
The Pot berths for most Central American countries can change, but the Galaxy can know for sure they won't be facing Olimpia as Honduran berths are locked. Of course, the current rules also say no group will have both an American team and a Mexican team.