ST. LOUIS – St. Louis CITY SC is a selection to play in the Central 1 group for the Leagues Cup 2023. It will feature LIGA MX powerhouse Club América and Columbus Crew SC, the tournament announced Friday.
The 15 groups will prepare for the inaugural edition of the highly-anticipated Leagues Cup 2023. It is an official CONCACAF competition where all 47 clubs will play in a World Cup-style tournament. The 47 club representations comprise of 18 teams from LIGA MX and 29 from MLS. Three clubs will qualify for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions League. The inaugural edition of the Leagues Cup will take place from July 21 through August 19, 2023.
Every team will play two matches in the Group Stage. The top two teams from each group, as determined by points, advance to the Knockout Stage Round of 32. No matches in the Leagues Cup Group Stage will end in a tie. Tie games after 90 minutes will proceed to a penalty shootout.
The Leagues Cup 2023 bracket and schedule will be available in the coming months.
Leagues Cup 2023 breakdown
As the 2022 MLS Cup champion, Los Angeles Football Club qualified directly into the Round of 32. LIGA MX champion Club de Fútbol Pachuca earned the bye as the LIGA MX champion. Pachuca had the most combined points across the Clausura and Apertura seasons in the 2022 calendar year.
The Leagues Cup 2023 groups are based on clubs’ 2022 performance along with their geographic regions. The 15 groups are split up into four regions: West, Central, South, and East. Each region will have four groups. The lone exception is in the West, which will have three groups due to LAFC’s entrance into the Knockout Stage. Pachuca will enter the Knockout Stage in the South, opposite the MLS Cup Champion and the opposite quadrant from the top MLS-seeded club based on the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings. Since LAFC won the 2022 Supporters’ Shield, the club in the opposite quadrant will be the team that finished second – the Philadelphia Union, who will be in Group 1 in the East Region (East 1).
The top 15 MLS clubs – excluding the MLS Cup champion – have placements in their corresponding geographic region first, and then by their position in the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings. The top 15 LIGA MX teams, using the combination of Clausura and Apertura standings – excluding the LIGA MX champion – have pairings in reverse order with the top 15 MLS clubs (No. 15 LIGA MX seeded club has been paired with the No. 1 MLS-seeded club and so on).
Continuing with the competitive balance criteria, the remaining 13 MLS club placement in the groups, again based first on their geographic regions, and then based on their position in the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings.
CITY SC in Central 1
- Central 1: América (No. 1 LIGA MX), Columbus Crew (No. 15 MLS), St. Louis CITY SC (No. 28 MLS)
- Central 2: Puebla (No. 6 LIGA MX), Minnesota United FC (No. 10 MLS), Chicago Fire FC (No. 23 MLS)
- Central 3: Chivas Guadalajara (No. 7 LIGA MX), FC Cincinnati (No. 9 MLS), Sporting Kansas City (No. 21 MLS)
- Central 4: Nashville SC (No. 8 MLS), Toluca (No. 8 LIGA MX), Colorado Rapids (No. 17 MLS)
With the MLS clubs placed into groups, the South and East regions have one remaining slot each. Using the Clausura and Apertura total standings, the last two remaining LIGA MX clubs, FC Juarez and Querétaro will have placements in the open positions in these two regions to complete the groups. Placement in reverse order from the highest seed in each group, Querétaro (No. 17 LIGA MX) and FC Juarez (No. 16 LIGA MX) have respective pairings with Philadelphia Union (No. 2 MLS) in the East and Austin FC (No. 4 MLS) in the South.
How to watch the Leagues Cup
Fans around the world will be able to watch the Leagues Cup on MLS Season Pass (except in Mexico) on the Apple TV app, which is available on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices from Roku, Amazon, and Google, game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com.
In addition, TelevisaUnivision, FOX Sports, TSN, and RDS will be the linear broadcast home for select Leagues Cup matches. The Leagues Cup Final will be available on Univision.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.