Three member countries from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football have clinched a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals. Mexico and Honduras have national leagues which finish in time for the South African international tournament in June, whilst the USA is suspending domestic play for the group stages, as well as the semi-final and final.
Liga Nacional de Fútbol
The Honduran leagues have been a starting place for the careers of a number of current national players who are finding fame and fortune outside their home country (Suazo, Palacios, Figueroa, Bernandez), and the current national squad has at least half its players domestically based.
First half-season: July 8, 2009 - November 25, 2009
Second half-season: January 30, 2010 - May 31, 2010 (TBC)
Defending Champions: Marathón
Mexico has been a strong World Cup team for some time, not missing a tournament in 15 years. The fact that the vast majority of national players are plying their trade for Mexican club teams gives an indication of how robust the Primera really is.
First half-season: July 24, 2009 - December 13, 2009
Second half-season: January 16, 2010 - May 15, 2010
Defending Champions: Monterrey
Major League Soccer, Eastern & Western Conferences
The US is another league on the up-and-up which, like Australia's A-League, has benefited from the input of recognized stars transferring in from other countries (David Beckham, Freddie Ljunberg, Fred, Juan Pablo Angel), but with a strong work ethic and determined players is now establishing its national team as a force to be reckoned with having climbed to 14 in the FIFA world rankings.
Season starts: March 25
Season ends: November 21
Defending Champions: Columbus Crew