MLS and Liga MX announce new month-long Leagues Cup format to begin in 2023
MLS and Liga MX clubs will face off in a month-long summer tournament beginning in 2023, as the two top North American leagues have united for a reimagined Leagues Cup.
The new Leagues Cup will be an annual summer tournament that will see both MLS and Liga MX pause domestic play for one month.
Officially sanctioned by CONCACAF, the new Leagues Cup will determine three qualifying spots for the CONCACAF Champions League.
What will the tournament look like?
The two leagues say that further details will be revealed in the coming months, but we do know that the tournament’s winner will qualifying automatically to the CCL round of 16.
Additionally, the clubs finishing second and third in the new-look Leagues Cup will qualify for the opening round of the CCL.
The current iteration of the Leagues Cup, which will change to this new format in 2023, is an eight-team single-elimination tournament with the Seattle Sounders set to face Club Leon in this season’s finale on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
What was said?
“The new Leagues Cup with every club in MLS and Liga MX competing in an intense, month-long, tournament will establish new standards for what is possible between our two leagues, and further showcase our players and clubs to a global audience,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber.
“Since its launch three and a half years ago, our partnership with Liga MX has grown quickly and the competition has brought out the best in both of us.
“On the path to the FIFA World Cup in 2026 hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico, this is the perfect moment to produce a tournament that will elevate the profile of Concacaf and showcase the incredible passion our region has for soccer played at the highest level.”
Mikel Arriola, executive president of Liga MX, added: “We are in a celebratory mood given the historic announcement about the new competition ecosystem established by Concacaf in which there will be an expansion of Leagues Cup. This is an example of coordination and goal alignment between the confederation, MLS and Liga MX.
“All parties involved converged on the objective to provide the fans of North American football and all over the world greater entertainment and spectacle, provide MLS and Liga MX clubs a more intensified competition schedule to raise playing standards and quality.
“In this way, economic benefits can be reinvested creating a virtuous cycle assisting the development of players, clubs, and marketing opportunities for futbol and sports in general.”
A continued collaboration
MLS and Liga MX have collaborated heavily in recent years, with the two leagues now facing off in a number of competitions.
The champions of the two leagues already face off in the Campeones Cup, which will see the Columbus Crew face Cruz Azul on September 29, as well as the current format of the Leagues Cup.
Additionally, the two leagues have also united for the new-look MLS All-Star Game, which saw the MLS side take down their Liga MX counterparts this summer.