MLS and Liga MX unveil 2023 47-team League Cup format
Major League Soccer and Liga MX have announced the format for the expanded League Cup competition next summer which will feature all teams from both leagues taking part in the month-long World Cup-style tournament.
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The competition will include all 47 teams and will begin on July 21 and end on August 19, the leagues announced Thursday.
The 77 matches of the tournament will be played in the United States and Canada.
The expansion of the tournament was first announced in September 2021 and will include prize money for winning clubs, as well as CONCACAF Champions League berths for first, second and third place teams.
« There has never been a league cup in major professional sport on this continent or anywhere else and we believe the tournament will help raise the profile of CONCACAF around the world, » said the MLS commissioner, Don Garber.
Using a World Cup-style format, 32 of the 47 teams will advance from the group stages to a knockout bracket. The group stages will feature 15 groups of three teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the round of 16.
Two champions from the 2022 season will automatically be placed in the round of 16.
The 2022 MLS Cup champion will receive an automatic offer for the Round of 16.
The other automatic offer will go to the 2022 Clausura or 2022 Apertura champion of the Liga MX.
The champion with the most combined points in both tournaments in 2022 will receive the automatic offer.
The group stage ranking for MLS teams will be based on the final 2022 Supporters Shield rankings, with the top 15 set to host two matches.
The top 15 Liga MX clubs of the combined Clausura and Apertura rankings in 2022 will be drawn opposite those MLS clubs in reverse order.
The #1 team in MLS will have the #15 team in Liga MX in their group, for example.
The remaining 13 MLS teams and the two remaining Liga MX teams will be split into groups and split geographically.
“For Liga MX, this means spending a month with our tremendous and growing fan base in the United States and creating new international opportunities, so that our clubs and players can show the world their talent and their commitment to excellence. ”, said the executive president of Liga MX. said Mikel Arriola.
The group stages of the tournament will also not feature draws. Both teams will earn a point for a tied game after 90 minutes, but a penalty shootout will decide the winner, with the winning club getting an extra point in the group stage standings.
Regulation wins are worth three points.
The full program will be announced in the coming months.
Liga MX club Leon won last year’s final with a 3-2 win over Seattle Sounders after Angel Mena scored twice in the second half, including an 81st-minute penalty.