Frank Lampard - Andrea Pirlo - NYCFC

Could MLS teams play in one of the world's most prestigious club competitions, the Copa Libertadores, in the years to come?


It seems there is some momentum out of South America on that very topic. The Copa Libertadores is the premier regional club competition in South America, and has a long tradition of inviting Liga MX teams into the competition, with three even reaching the final in years past, including Tigres in last year's tournament.


Liga de Quito president Esteban Paz held a press conference earlier this week discussing the talks club leaders have had with CONMEBOL director Alejandro Dominguez during recent meetings in possibly bringing MLS teams into the competition.


"Would you like to see a player like [NYCFC midfielder Andrea] Pirlo?" Paz told reporters according to El Universo. "Would you like to see a team in Ecuador play the [LA] Galaxy and [Steven] Gerrard comes?


"Without question this would considerably raise the organization and structure of South American football and with that all of America will have vastly improved resources and they can be distributed in a equitable and better way," he added.


The comments come the same year as the special Copa America Centenario tournament, which is South America's international championship but is being held this summer to include six CONCACAF countries in addition to the 10 CONMEBOL nations. The tournament, being hosted outside of the continent and in the United States for the first time, could be a precursor of sorts for eventual Copa Libertadores involvement by MLS sides.


Of course, MLS does have a bit of history with South American teams in official competition. D.C. United, as CONCACAF Champions Cup titleholder, won the final edition of the Copa Interamericana, in 1998, beating Copa Libertadores champion Vasco da Gama of Brazil 2-1 over two legs to be crowned champions of the Americas.

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