Concacaf is set to adopt new qualification criteria for the Champions League.
Starting in 2024, Major League Soccer clubs will be able to compete for up to nine spots in the competition as 27 overall teams fight for the trophy. The American league will see five slots reserved, with MLS Cup winner, Supporters’ Shield winner, opposite conference winner and two subsequent teams with the highest points based on Supporters’ Shield standings automatically qualified.
Any club can also secure a place in the tournament by winning the U.S. Open Cup, or placing within the top three teams in the upcoming expanded Leagues Cup, which is set to include every team from MLS and Liga MX.
Liga MX will see six Champions League slots reserved for the Apertura and Clausura winners and runners-up, as well as the subsequent two teams with the highest aggregate points total across both Apertura and Clausura tournaments.
Canadian teams will only be assured three places, with the champions, regular-season winner and Canadian Championship winner slated for the competition.
The last six spots will go to the best-performing clubs from the newly established Central American Cup and three for the Caribbean Cup.
The upcoming 2023 edition of the Concacaf Champions League stands as the last with the current format.
Given the amount of clubs participating in the tournament’s newest version, several changes were adapted to fit the format.
To kick off, there will be a direct elimination knockout stage composed of five rounds: round one, round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. 22 teams will participate in the first round, with five clubs receiving a bye to the round of 16.
The winners of the MLS Cup, Leagues Cup, Central American Cup and Caribbean Cup are set to receive the bye week, along with the Liga MX Apertura or Clausura winner with the highest aggregate points total.
The first four stages will see each game played on a two leg basis, with home and away play, while the final is set as a single-leg match on a weekend date.