Ten days of suspense will determine what South American soccer teams, including at least one from Washington, will compete for an African championship this year.
Two of those teams — River Plate and Boca Juniors — ended soccer’s longest six-month hiatus from competition on March 2 by winning South American soccer’s Club World Cup. The squads will face off in a CONCACAF Championship on May 29-June 2, representing the two regions of the game against each other. The championship also will include three Asian, three North American and two South American club teams.
In a nod to the growing global influence of the African continent and its clubs in the minds of United States soccer fans, U.S. Soccer had begun talks on moving that regional championship, which had been slated for next year, to American soil. However, those discussions fell apart in late January amid financial miscommunications between its president, Sunil Gulati, and representatives of the U.S. Soccer Federation. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football refused U.S. Soccer’s financial proposal.