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2023 League Cup: Everything you need to know

Here’s what you need to know about the CONCACAF League Cup, North America’s new club tournament. (Getty Images)

With the release of the official schedule for the 2023 League Cup group stage, CONCACAF now has another fixture on the North American scene. Given that the competition has seen many different forms in its short existence and is now in its most elaborate format, it is understandable that there is still some confusion as to what to expect.

Initially designed as an expanded version of the Super Cup, practiced in most association football around the world, the tournament now includes all 49 clubs from Major League Soccer (29) and Liga MX (18). group stage, is scheduled for Will be between July 21-31will consist of fifteen groups of three teams that will battle it out and ensure that they do not finish last to qualify for the Round of 32.

The draw for each group takes the 2022 table and assigns the teams ranked 2nd to 16th to their counterparts. For example, the team that finished second in the 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings would be placed in a group with the team that finished 16th in the previous year’s Liga MX table, third would play 15th, fourth would play 14th, and so on. . There will be four groups each in the Central, East and South zones, with three groups in the West.

The bottom two Liga MX and bottom 13 MLS clubs will then be randomly drawn into 15 groups, which will complete that stage of the competition. As MLS Cup and Apertura champions, Los Angeles FC and Pachuca received automatic byes into the knockout stage.

As far as group stage games are concerned, there will be no tie – if all is tied after 90 minutes, kick-off will start from the penalty spot. A regulation win is worth three points, but should penalties be required, the three points will be shared with two points to the winner and one point to the loser.

Once the dust settles on the group stage, every knockout game is single-elimination until a winner is crowned. Not only is there a trophy at stake, but the League Cup is another way for these clubs to qualify for CONCACAF’s flagship tournament – the Champions League. The two teams in the final will qualify for next year’s Champions League, along with the winner of the third-place consolation final.

However, the advantage for the winner of the League Cup is a direct route to the round of 16, a huge boost that will certainly help with the early season fixture congestion that affects many MLS teams’ first few games. Every single League Cup game will be broadcast on MLS Season Pass for Apple TV.



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