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D.C. United advances in CONCACAF Champions League: match report, notes, video

(CONCACAF)

My match report from D.C. United’s group-clinching 2-0 victory over Arabe Unido before a sparse crowd at RFK Stadium.

Group H standings

D.C. United 3-0-0, 9 points, +6 goal differential

Arabe Unido 1-2-0, 3 points, 0 GD

Montego Bay 0-2-0, 0 points, -6 GD

Near the end of an otherwise ordinary postgame news conference, United Coach Ben Olsen let a secret slip.

Looking ahead to the quarterfinals in early 2016, Olsen said:

“It’s always a challenge for MLS teams to get up to speed, to change the way you do your [preparation] in preseason, in a safe way for your players. It’s a challenge. It’s a real challenge. I am thrilled they are moving the CONCACAF to a — how would I say that? — in a seasonal way. They are changing things. You guys know that, right? It’s not just me?”

[Silence]

“It’s just an email?”

[Silence]

“Oops.”

[Laughter]

“Good night, guys.”

[Exit stage left]

“Sorry, CONCACAF, you deal with that one.”

On his way out — of both the media room and later in his vehicle leaving the RFK tunnel — Olsen declined to elaborate.

Oops, indeed.

Sources familiar with CONCACAF’s proposal told the Insider later that the confederation is considering changing the format in order to contain an entire tournament in a calendar year instead of running from late summer to late spring. If approved, the schedule would probably run from March until November, concurrent to the MLS regular season and playoffs.

Presumably, the early stage would take place in the spring and, following a summer gap, the knockout rounds in the fall. For Mexican clubs, that would mean playing the early rounds during the spring Clausura season and the late stage during the fall Apertura campaign.

CONCACAF’s timetable for deciding whether to move forward with the change — and when it would go into effect — is unclear. Regardless, the eight group winners in the current competition will vie for the championship in early 2016.

DCU-Arabe Unido video:

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