Major League Soccer and LIGA MX are releasing new details about next year's 2023 Leagues Cup. The tournament will take place between July 21st and August 19th and will feature every club in North America's top two leagues. While the tournament is being played, clubs will not play regular season matches.
All 77 games are set to be hosted inside MLS Stadiums. This also includes games that will see LIGA MX play against another LIGA MX club. We will also see groups broken into four regions East, West, Central, and South.
The 2023 Leagues Cup tournament will follow a familiar style many soccer fans are used to, with a group stage played before the knockout stages begin. Taking a deeper look at the group stage, each club will play at least two games. MLS will rank their teams based on how clubs finished in the 2022 Supporters Shield.
So, the Philadelphia Union, who sit two in the standings, would be among the first 15 MLS teams to be seeded in the tournament. Once the Top 15 MLS teams are placed, the Top 15 LIGA MX teams, with points combined from the 2022 Clausura & Apertura standings, will be placed in reverse order. For example, Group 1 would be made of MLS's club that finished second in the Supporters' shield standings and paired with LIGA MX's 15-ranked team. The third team in the group will comprise the remaining 13 MLS teams and two remaining LIGA MX clubs. Joining the tournament in the round of 32 will be the 2022 MLS Cup Champion, and for LIGA MX, it will be one of the champions of either the Clausura or Apertura 2022. Whatever club has the most combined points between both 2022 tournaments.
Moving onto the Knockout Rounds, we will see single-game eliminations like in the World Cup. The rounds will start with 32 teams and culminate with the final being played on Saturday, August 19th. There are also some great rewards for three teams. The winner of the third-place game will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League. The two teams who make it to the finals will be eligible for the Concacaf Champions league. The overall tournament winner gets the advantage of entering the Concacaf Champions League tournament in the round of 16.
One interesting thing to note about the tournament, there will be no draws. If, after 90 minutes, the game is tied, both teams will earn the traditional point. However, a penalty shootout will occur, with the winner making another point. Winning within the 90-minute window will still bag the winning team's traditional three points.
MLS also announced that fans could watch the tournament through the Apple TV app. All matches will be part of their 10-year tv partnership deal with Apple. They also said more broadcast information would be announced as we get closer to the tournament.