Major League Soccer and Mexico’s LIGA MX announced the structure and dates for the 2023 Leagues Cup, which will include every team in the two leagues. The Houston Dynamo will take on other MLS teams as well as teams from Mexico.
77 matches. 47 clubs. Four weeks. Three countries. Two leagues. One champion.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 6, 2022
Can’t wait for #LeaguesCup2023. pic.twitter.com/PSJkMZgCnU
The tournament will take place between July 21 and August 19. There will be no regular season league games during this time. Both leagues will pause their seasons to take part in the Leagues Cup. The games will be played in a World Cup style tournament with group stages to be followed by knockout rounds. Teams will be placed in four regions, East, West, South, or Central.
The 2022 MLS Cup Champion will skip the group stage and receive a bye to the Round of 32. Between the Clausura and Apertura champions in LIGA MX, the club with the most combined points across both tournaments will also receive a bye to the Round of 32 and skip the group stage. The MLS teams from 2 to 16 in the Supporters’ Shield standings are seeded first in each group. The LIGA MX teams from 2 to 16 in the combined Clausura and Apertura standings will be second in each group, opposite the MLS rankings (for example MLS #15 with LIGA MX #2). The remaining 13 MLS teams and 2 LIGA MX teams will be drawn into groups and divided geographically.
The matches themselves will be 90 minutes with teams earning three points for a win and one point for a draw. The match will not end in a draw however, with the winner of the subsequent penalty kick shootout gaining an additional point (like MLS NEXT Pro did this season). The knockout rounds will be single elimination with the winner, runner up, and third place team qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League.
All 77 games will be hosted at MLS stadiums in the United States and Canada. Matches between two LIGA MX teams will be played at MLS stadium, depending on the region. All Leagus Cup matches will be presented live on the Apple TV app.