Concacaf Makes Changes to Club Competitions
On Tuesday afternoon, Concacaf announced a new structure for its men’s club competitions ecosystem that will include an expanded Concacaf Champions League and individual regional cup competitions in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
From 2023 onwards, three regional cup competitions will be played in the fall of each year and will qualify clubs into the Concacaf Champions League. Following the conclusion of the three cups, a Confederation-wide expanded 27-club Concacaf Champions League will be played in the spring to crown the region’s best club.
The new Concacaf Champions League will continue to be played in a direct elimination knockout stage format and will be composed of five rounds (round one, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final). The first four stages will include home and away play, while the Final, where Concacaf’s Champion will be crowned, will be played as a single leg match on a weekend date.
Of the 27 clubs that will participate, 22 will begin play in Round One and 5 will receive a bye to the Round of 16.
The qualification process for the clubs will be divided per region as follows: North America Canadian, Mexican and USA clubs will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League via their domestic leagues and Member Association Cups (US Open Cup and Canadian Championship). Additionally, Liga MX and MLS clubs will also qualify via an expanded Leagues Cup, which will in 2023 become part of Concacaf’s new club ecosystem and will incorporate all clubs from both leagues. In total, 18 North American clubs will participate in the Concacaf Champions League. They will be determined as follows: Round One (15 North American clubs): Five Liga MX clubs*, four MLS clubs*, two Canadian Premier League clubs*, two Leagues Cup clubs (second and third place finishers), the US Open Cup Winner and the Canadian Championship winner. Round of 16 (3 North American clubs): Liga MX winner*, MLS Cup winner and Leagues Cup winner *A detailed qualification criteria will be communicated in due course.
Central America For Central America, clubs will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League via a new Central American Cup that will include a Group Stage and a Knockout Stage. At the conclusion of the new Central American Cup six clubs will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and will begin play as follows: Round One (5 Central American clubs): Central American Cup second-place finisher, two losing semifinalists and two play-in winners. Round of 16 (1 Central American club): Central American Cup Champion The 20 clubs that will participate in the Central American Cup will be determined via domestic league play and a new UNCAF Cup. More details on the new Central American Cup and UNCAF Cup will be communicated by in due course.
For the Caribbean, clubs will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League via a new Caribbean Cup that will include a Group Stage and a Knockout Stage. At the conclusion of the Caribbean Cup three clubs will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and will begin play as follows:
Round One (2 Caribbean clubs): Caribbean Cup second and third place finishers
Round of 16 (1 Caribbean club): Caribbean Cup Champion
The 10 clubs that will participate in the Caribbean cup will be determined via domestic league play for the professional Caribbean Leagues and the new CFU Cup.
More details on the new Caribbean Cup will be communicated by in due course.