Concacaf To Expand Champions Leagues, Introduces Tournament Between MLS & Liga MX

Pictured L-R: MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, Caribbean Football Union General Secretary Camara David, Liga MX President Mikel Arriola and Central American Football Union President Rafael Tinoco. Photo: Courtesy of Concacaf

Concacaf is redesigning its Champions Leagues Cup system by introducing a new Leagues Cup tournaments in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. This includes a month-long tournament between the MLS and Liga MX.

From 2023 onwards, three regional cup competitions will be played in the fall of each year and will qualify clubs into the Concacaf Champions League. Following the conclusion of the three cups, a Confederation-wide expanded 27-club Concacaf Champions League will be played in the spring to crown the region’s best club. The top three finishing teams from each regional tournament will automatically qualify for the Champions League.

“This is a hugely significant development for Concacaf and for leagues and clubs in our region. The Concacaf Champions League has consistently grown in recent years and this new format will provide a major boost to the competition. Working collaboratively with our stakeholders we have been able to create a new calendar which grows and enhances our Champions League and fully incorporates regional cup competitions,” says Concacaf President and FIFA Vice president Victor Montagliani.

This new format of regional cups will allow for the three regions to crown their own champion, prior to the Concacaf Champions League which will see clubs compete to win the Confederation’s club title and qualify to the FIFA Club World Cup. The new Concacaf Champions League will continue to be played in a direct elimination knockout stage format and will be composed of five rounds. The first four stages will include home and away play, while the Final–where Concacaf’s Champion will be crowned–will be played as a single leg match.

The current format of the Concacaf Champions League–the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League–will remain in place for the 2022 and 2023 editions. 2023 will be a transition year with the last edition under the current format played in the spring, prior to the new regional cup competitions commencing in the fall.

For more information about the Leagues Cup, the Champions League or the new formatting can go to the MLS website.

Steven Boero