Major League Soccer and LIGA MX, with the support of Concacaf officially announced the details for the first iteration of Leagues Cup that the New England Revolution will be competing in 2023.
Next summer, both MLS and LIGA MX will pause their seasons (as they will do annually) to compete in what will be a 48-team tournament. The eventual tournament champion, as well as the second and third place finishers, will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and will earn an opportunity to gain a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Next year, 47 teams will compete in the tournament which will have 77 matches. For Leagues Cup 2023, one club each from MLS and LIGA MX will receive a bye past the Group Stage and enter the tournament in the Round of 32. For MLS this will be the 2022 MLS Cup winner. For LIGA MX, of the two 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 qualify directly into the Round of 32.
The remaining 45 clubs will be divided into 15 groups of three clubs each. The 15 groups will be divided into four regions. Every team will play two matches in the Group Stage, with the top two teams from each group, as determined by points, advancing to the Knockout Stage Round of 32.
No matches in the group stage will end in a tie. Each team receives one point if the game is tied after 90 minutes. The winner of the subsequent penalty kicks will earn an additional point. Regulation wins count as three points.
The Group Stage placement for MLS teams will be based on the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings. The top 15 MLS Clubs will each be placed in groups based on seeding, as well as by region, and will host two matches each.
The top 15 LIGA MX clubs - based on the combined Clausura 2022 and Apertura 2022 standings - will be placed into groups in reverse order from the MLS clubs (No. 15 LIGA MX seeded club will be paired with No. 1 MLS seeded club and so on). There will be at least one LIGA MX club per group.
The remaining 13 MLS clubs together with the 2 remaining LIGA MX clubs, will be drawn into groups and divided geographically. The 13 MLS clubs will each host one Group Stage match. LIGA MX v. LIGA MX matches will be played at select venues depending on region.
After the group stage, it’s your standard tournament all the way to the final. With each winner advancing to the next round. The Leagues Cup 2023 Final and Third-Place game, will determine the qualifiers in Concacaf Champions League. The Leagues Cup 2023 winner will qualify directly for the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16, and the second and third place Clubs will qualify for the Champions League Round One.
So let’s see if New England can add a new trophy to its cabinet in the coming years.