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San Jose Earthquakes already holding Champions League berth

DC United v San Jose Earthquakes

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 02: Justin Morrow #15 of the San Jose Earthquakes is congratulated by teammates after he scored against the D.C. United at Buck Shaw Stadium on May 2, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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There’s so much going on right now, this one slipped through the cracks. But it will be important next year, when all the business of scheduling and roster sorting gets serious.

The San Jose Earthquakes qualified for next year’s CONCACAF Champions League competition.

Frank Yallop’s men have qualified for next year’s field because they can finish no worse than second in the Supporters Shield chase; a CCL spot goes to the Supporters Shield winner.

That will probably be San Jose. But in this case, even if the Quakes slip and get caught by Sporting Kansas City, they still qualify for next year’s regional championship. That’s because Sporting KC already has its CCL spot in pocket by virtue of claiming this year’s U.S. Open Cup.

Here’s the thing about CONCACAF Champions League: it’s a swell competition and quite important if you listen to the teams. But … it does complicate the schedule and add substantial roster strain and drain. So, it’s a mixed bag that way.

But never mind that. The club will be happy to get a taste – especially in a year that will be pretty significant anyway. The Earthquakes will be full bore into construction on their new ground; groundbreaking is set for Oct. 21.

The last two CCL spots from this country go to the MLS Cup finalists. If one or both happen to be named Sporting Kansas City or San Jose Earthquakes, then the top U.S. teams according to final regular season standings grab the birth.