According to a report out of Brazil, MLS clubs could soon find themselves in a much bigger international competition than the CONCACAF Champions League. The CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores is South America's version of the Champions League featuring 36 clubs from the continent. This would include, of course, the big Argentinian and Brazilian clubs.
The report says that the biggest challenge so far is financial, though we don't know the specifics. Are they looking for money from MLS, or are they simply trying to figure out if they can get TV money rights out of the US and Canada in exchange for MLS clubs playing in the tournament. My guess would be the latter.
Really, this would be a huge move for MLS. While there are still a lot of details to work out and certainly MLS clubs would face some strong competition, the CONCACAF Champions League just doesn't have the same sort of weight that the Copa Libertadores does, especially considering that Mexican clubs already play in it. MLS will never be able to join the UEFA Champions League, but with South America, they can play in perhaps the worlds' second most important club tournament.
But are they ready? One of my reservations about this is that MLS teams currently can't even win in the CCL. Who's to say they don't play in the Cope Libertadores and get embarrassed? That's not something we would want on their debut. Before this can happen, I think MLS clubs need a higher salary cap. As we saw with Real Salt Lake, there's simply no way to currently hold onto the kind of championship-required depth that these tournaments demand.
What would you think about MLS clubs playing in the Copa Libertadores?