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What is the format and calendar for the Leagues Cup 2023 tournament?

If seeing all the teams from the MLS and Liga MX battle to be the best in a month-long tournament interests you, then check out what’s in store.

La Leagues Cup 2023 es una realidad

Just when you thought that there weren’t enough new versions of tournaments in the world of soccer, we’ve got the Leagues Cup to get you excited ahead of next year. Yes, in 2023 we’ll see all those teams in Major League Soccer and Liga MX clash for the much anticipated new title.

Leagues Cup 2023: what’s happening?

The 2023 edition of the Leagues Cup is starting to take shape and on Thursday both MLS and Liga MX shared details about the competition format of the tournament that will kick off on 29 July 2023.

As MLS commissioner Don Garber and Liga MX president Mikel Arriola, together with FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, confirmed a few months ago, the 29 US franchises and the 18 Mexican football clubs will compete under a World Cup format to decide the champion and the teams that will progress to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Now via a video and a statement by both leagues, it has been revealed that the tournament will be played between that start date of 29 July and 19 August, and will consist of 77 matches over the four weeks. All Leagues Cup games will take place in the stadiums of the MLS teams.

  • 2022 MLS Cup Champion skips the group stage and starts at Round of 32
  • Of the two LIGA MX recent champions in Clausura 2022 and Apertura 2022, the club with the most combined points accumulated across both tournaments in the 2022 calendar year will skip the group stage and start at Round of 32

Leagues Cup 2023: what is the format?

The leagues also confirmed that the 47 teams will be drawn into 15 groups for the first round. The top two teams from each group, plus the MLS and Liga MX champions (making it 32 teams), will advance to the knockout round. It should be noted that in the group stage there will be no ties, so the matches will be decided on penalties, and the winner of each round will earn an additional point.

  • An official Concacaf competition
  • All MLS and LIGA MX clubs will participate
  • World Cup style tournament: group stage followed by knockout rounds
  • 4 regions: East, West, South, Central
  • 77 games hosted at MLS stadiums throughout the U.S. and Canada
  • LIGA MX v. LIGA MX matches will be played at MLS venues depending on region

It was revealed that because the tournament will be held entirely in MLS teams’ stadiums, the duels between Liga MX teams will be played in US stadiums depending on the region of each club.

To determine the Liga MX team that will go directly to this stage, the sum of points that the two champions have made in the two tournaments will be taken into account and the one with the best performance will be the one that qualifies.

  • No ties in Leagues Cup 2023
  • Each team receives 1 point if the game is tied after 90 minutes.
  • The winner of the subsequent penalty shootout will earn an additional point.
  • Regulation wins count as three points.

Finally, it was announced that the MLS teams ranked between 2nd and 16th place in the season standings will head each of the groups, while Liga MX will apply the same format to define the 15 clubs with the best ranking in the Clausura and Apertura 2022 tournaments and will be second in each group of the Leagues Cup, and the third clubs in each group will be defined by a draw.

To find out all the other details that you may want to know, check out the official website.