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The Daily Dirt, April 7: Champions League Dreams

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Is Atlanta United built for the CCL?

MLS: CONCACAF Champions League-Club America at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

This week saw Major League Soccer come up empty in the CONCACAF Champions League for the ninth straight time, or as many times as the competition has been staged since its re-branding. Once again, two MLS sides fell to Liga MX clubs in the semifinals, guaranteeing a team from Mexico will win for the 9th straight time. This begs the question: Will MLS ever get over the hump?

Eventually it has to happen, right? As the league continue to introduce more and more mechanisms to acquire quality talent, like TAM, the better the overall rosters are getting. We don’t need to look too far from home to see an example of this. Atlanta United have built an incredibly competitive roster using these mechanisms. So, could Atlanta be the team to get MLS off its schneid?

Unfortunately, due to their timing of entering the league and the tournament’s new format, best case scenario for the Five Stripes is earning qualification to the 2019 CCL. That’s a long ways away. Any talk of them being the first MLS team to win it premature. It also requires every MLS club to fail in next year’s edition of the tournament.

However, what’s not premature to say is that Atlanta are the type of club who should be able to get MLS that gold trophy they desire. A big spending club with tons of ambition with a focus on the Latin American style of play. Like it or not, Mexico reigns supreme in this region. To beat them, you’re going to have to beat them at their own game. Experts have stated that Atlanta United remind them more of a Liga MX team than an MLS team thanks to their high tempo style of play. If the drought is still in effect whenever Atlanta finds its way into the CCL, they are undoubtedly fit to be a team who could compete with the best the region has to offer and win it. But, we’re still so far away from that being a possibility.


Domestic

Report: USA, Mexico, and Canada to launch joint 2026 World Cup bid (SB Nation)

A joint 2026 World Cup bid is a mistake for the USA (Stars and Stripes FC)

Brazil end Argentina’s year-long reign as FIFA’s No. 1 ranked team (Stars and Stripes FC)

International

Klopp: Liverpool need to be like Chelsea (ESPNFC)

Is Luis Suarez the best No. 9 in the world? (Barca Blaugranes)