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Help on way for MLS teams in Champions League

NEW YORK — Major League Soccer confirmed it will have four clubs representing the United States in the 2011-12 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League and the league is also looking at ways to give its participating teams the best opportunity to succeed.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed that the league is considering providing additional allocation money to participating teams, including even more resources as they advance deeper in the competition. The MLS Board of Governors will decide on the matter this weekend in Toronto, venue of MLS Cup 2010 between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids.

Allocation money can be used toward player salaries over and above the regular salary budget of each MLS club.

“The Champions League is a tournament we continue to believe is important for us to perform well in,” Garber said. “I believe we’ll come out of our board meeting with some movement on this.

“This is a priority for us. It’s something we’re trying to figure out the right way to do it while keeping the integrity of our entire league system.  It’s something we’re focused on.”

MLS and CONCACAF confirmed the four US representatives for the 2011-12 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League that will kick off in the summer of next year: the LA Galaxy (Supporters’ Shield winners), Seattle Sounders (US Open Cup winners), Colorado Rapids (MLS Cup finalists) and FC Dallas (MLS Cup finalists).

MLS has the possibility for a fifth spot as well, depending on the outcome of the Nutrilife Canadian Championship next summer, which is contested by Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and USSF D-2 side Montreal Impact. The NCC winner receives Canada's lone berth in the Champions League.

For the Rapids and FC Dallas, it will mark their first-ever appearance in the current format of the CONCACAF Champions League. The Rapids faced Mexican club León over two matches in June 1998 after finishing as MLS Cup runner-ups the previous season.

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