MONTREAL – CF Montreal kicks off the all-new Leagues Cup on Saturday by hosting Pumas UNAM of LigaMX at 7:30 p.m. at Stade Saputo as part of the first match of the group stage (MLS Season Pass, RDS, TSN, BPM Sports).
MLS and LIGA MX will each observe a summer break during which the 47 professional top division clubs from the United States, Mexico and Canada will face off in a World Cup-style tournament, with the top three qualifying for the Concacaf Champions Cup (formerly known as the Concacaf Champions League). A total of 77 matches will be played across the United States and Canada leading up to the final on Saturday, August 19.
In their last match in MLS against Charlotte FC, CF Montreal signed a 2-0 shutout victory. The Bleu-blanc-noir is close to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-12-2 and 29 points.
Pumas UNAM is a Mexican club playing in Mexico City. Founded in 1954, this club has won the Mexican championship seven times. The club were also runners-up in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League, losing 5-2 on aggregate against the Seattle Sounders. Pumas UNAM currently sits fourth in Liga MX with a record of one win and two draws.
Placed in Group East 2 by virtue of its general classification in 2022, Montreal will face Pumas UNAM, then DC United on Wednesday, July 26, also at Saputo Stadium. The two best ranked clubs at the end of this preliminary phase (composed of 15 groups of three teams) will advance to the round of 16.
Note that victories in regulation time will count for three points and that there will be no draw in this tournament. In the event of a tie after 90 minutes, each team will receive one point. A penalty shootout will crown the winner who will get an extra point.
As for the composition of the group stage, MLS clubs ranked 2-16 based on the 2022 standings have been identified as the top seeds in each group. Liga MX clubs ranked 2-16 based on their total points from the Clausura 2022 Tournament and the Apertura 2022 Tournament were placed in reverse order of ranking against MLS teams (e.g. Liga MX #15 was pitted against MLS #2). The remaining 13 clubs in MLS and the remaining 2 clubs in Liga MX have been split into groups and divided geographically.
Two clubs earned a bye to the group stage and automatically qualified for the Round of 16 – LAFC, the winners of the 2022 MLS Cup, and CF Pachuca, the Mexican club with the highest number of points in the Clausura 2022 tournament and the Apertura 2022 tournament.
The finalists of this tournament and the winner of the small final will obtain a place in the Concacaf Champions Cup.
The 2023 Leagues Cup grand champion automatically qualifies for the knockout stages of the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.