Leagues Cup schedule, bracket revealed for expanded MLS vs. Liga MX event

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The match schedule and knockout round bracket for the expanded Leagues Cup, which will feature all MLS and Liga MX clubs for the first time in 2023, was revealed Thursday.

Billed as a month-long World Cup-style competition, the 2023 Leagues Cup will begin with the opening group-stage matches on July 21 and conclude with the final on Aug. 19.

A total of 47 teams (29 from MLS, 18 from Liga MX) will fight for three qualification spots for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions League and the first-ever title in the inaugural edition of the expanded tournament.

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Both Liga MX and MLS will pause their seasons for the summer event.

Fifteen groups of three -- announced in January -- are divided up in the tournament by four different regions: West (three groups), Central (four groups), South (four groups) and East (four groups).

The group stage, which will feature two matches per club, will kick off on July 21 and finish on July 31. Three points will be awarded for wins in the group stage, and in the case of a tie, a point will be given to each team that will then fight for an additional point in a penalty shootout. Tiebreakers in the group standings have yet to be finalized.

The full schedule can be viewed here.

The top two from each group will then work their way through the round of 32 (Aug. 2-4), round of 16 (Aug. 6-8), quarterfinals (Aug. 11-12), and semifinals (Aug. 15), before closing out with the 2023 Leagues Cup final and third place game on Aug. 19.

Current MLS Cup title-holders LAFC and 2022 Liga MX Apertura champions Pachuca were automatically given spots in the knockout round of 32 and won't take part in the group stage. Pachuca, due to securing the most points in last year's Liga MX aggregate table, earned the knockout round invitation over 2022 Clausura champions Atlas.

As part of Thursday's bracket announcement, it was also revealed that Pachuca would enter the knockout rounds in the South region, on the opposite bracket to LAFC, which will join in the West region.

All matches in the competition will be hosted at an MLS stadium, with several determinants for host selection.

  • MLS vs Liga MX (group stage and knockout round): Hosted by MLS team involved.

  • MLS vs MLS (group stage): Hosted by the team with a higher 2022 Supporters' Shield ranking.

  • MLS vs MLS (round of 32): Hosted by group winner. LAFC will host its respective round of 32 match

  • MLS vs MLS (round of 16 through final): Hosted by the team with a higher 2022 Supporters' Shield ranking.

  • Liga MX vs Liga MX (group stage): Hosted by the lone MLS team in their corresponding group.

  • Liga MX vs Liga MX (knockout round): MLS venue selected by the Leagues Cup organizing committee.

The full schedule and bracket are available on Leaguescup.com. First debuting in 2019, the Leagues Cup initially began with a smaller set of invited clubs from MLS and Liga MX. In late 2021, both leagues then revealed their plan to expand it to each and every MLS and Liga MX team for this year's edition.

Liga MX is two for two in the competition so far, with Cruz Azul winning the inaugural tournament in 2019 and Leon winning it in 2021. No official Leagues Cup tournaments were played in 2020 or 2022.