The 15 groups have been set for the inaugural edition of the highly-anticipated Leagues Cup 2023.
The competition is where all 47 clubs – 18 from LIGA MX and 29 from MLS – will play in a World Cup-style tournament that will qualify three clubs for the 2024 Concacaf Champions League. The inaugural edition of Leagues Cup will take place July 21- Aug. 19.
As the 2022 MLS Cup champion, Los Angeles FC qualified directly into the Round of 32 of Leagues Cup 2023. LIGA MX champion Club de Fútbol Pachuca earned the bye as the LIGA MX champion with the most combined points accumulated 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 were broken up into four regions: West, Central, South and East. Each region has have four groups, except the West, which has three groups due to LAFC’s entrance in the knockout stage.
Pachuca will enter the knockout stage in the South, opposite side of the bracket from the MLS Cup champion and 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 been placed in their corresponding geographic region first, and then based on their position in the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings. The top 15 LIGA MX teams, based on the combined Clausura 2022 and Apertura 2022 standings – excluding the LIGA MX champion as described above – have been paired in reverse order with the top 15 MLS clubs (No. 15 LIGA MX seeded club has been paired with No. 1 MLS seeded club and so on).
Continuing with the competitive balance criteria, the remaining 13 MLS clubs have been placed in the groups, again based first on their geographic region, and then based on their position in the final 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings.
With the MLS clubs placed into groups, the South and East regions have one remaining slot each. Based on the combined Clausura 2022 and Apertura 2022 standings, the last two remaining LIGA MX clubs, FC Juarez and Querétaro, have been placed in the open positions in these two regions to complete the groups. Placed in reverse order from the highest seed in each group, Querétaro (No. 17 LIGA MX) and FC Juarez (No. 16 LIGA MX) have been respectively paired with Philadelphia Union (No. 1 MLS) in the East and Austin FC (No. 3 MLS) in the South
Leagues Cup 2023 – Groups
- West 1: Tigres UANL (No. 2 LIGA MX), Portland Timbers (No. 14 MLS), San Jose Earthquakes (No. 25 MLS)
- West 2: Monterrey (No. 3 LIGA MX), Real Salt Lake (No. 13 MLS), Seattle Sounders FC (No. 20 MLS)
- West 3: LA Galaxy (No. 7 MLS), Club Leon (No. 9 LIGA MX), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (No. 16 MLS)
- 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)
- South 1: Austin FC (No. 3 MLS), Mazatlán FC (No. 13 LIGA MX), FC Juárez (No. 16 LIGA MX)
- South 2: Santos Laguna (No. 4 LIGA MX), Orlando City SC (No. 12 MLS), Houston Dynamo FC (No. 24 MLS)
- South 3: Cruz Azul (No. 5 LIGA MX), Inter Miami CF (No. 11 MLS), Atlanta United (No. 22 MLS)
- South 4: FC Dallas (No. 6 MLS), Necaxa (No. 10 LIGA MX), Charlotte FC (No. 18 MLS)
- East 1: Philadelphia Union (No. 1 MLS), Club Tijuana (No. 15 LIGA MX), Querétaro (No. 17 LIGA MX)
- East 2: CF Montréal (No. 2 MLS), Pumas (No. 14 LIGA MX), D.C. United (No. 27 MLS)
- East 3: New York City FC (No. 4 MLS), Atlas (No. 12 LIGA MX), Toronto FC (No. 26 MLS)
- East 4: New York Red Bulls (No. 5 MLS), Atlético de San Luis (No. 11 LIGA MX), New England Revolution (No. 19 MLS)