Toronto FC to face C.F. Pachuca and New York Red Bulls in Leagues Cup 2024
Major League Soccer (MLS) and LIGA MX announced today the format and groups for Leagues Cup 2024, an international soccer competition featuring all 47 clubs from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Leagues Cup 2024 will decide three qualifiers for the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup in which the winner will represent the region at the FIFA Club World Cup. The second edition of Leagues Cup will take place from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, August 25, 2024.
Toronto FC’s group for Leagues Cup 2024 will feature LIGA MX side C.F. Pachuca and New York Red Bulls (MLS). The Reds will face C.F. Pachuca for the first time in club history when the two clubs meet in Leagues Cup this summer. TFC has faced the New York Red Bulls a total of 42 times in club history and the Reds hold a 9W-21L-10T all-time MLS regular season record against the Red Bulls, with both clubs earning one head-to-head win each in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
New this year, the tournament will introduce a tiered Leagues Cup Ranking system strictly based on combined MLS and LIGA MX club performance based on points in the last 34 regular season matches. MLS teams will be ranked based on the 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield standings, while LIGA MX clubs will be ranked based on the cumulative 34 matches in the 2023 Clausura and Apertura tournaments.
All participating clubs – except the two Leagues’ champions - are divided into three tiers based on the Leagues Cup Ranking (1-15, 16-30, 31-45), forming 15 groups of three clubs each, one club from each tier, prioritizing geographical and competitive balance among the 45 clubs. For 2024, Leagues Cup will be played in two regions, East and West, with seven groups in the East and eight groups in the West, regionalizing travel for all participating clubs. Like the 2023 format, both LIGA MX and MLS Cup champions, Club America and Columbus Crew respectively, receive an automatic bye to the Round of 32. The two champions are not included in the Leagues Cup Ranking.
The LIGA MX Champion and the three top-ranked LIGA MX clubs will be granted hub privileges. The hub privileges, which will minimize LIGA MX club travel and reward them by playing in pre-determined venues as the home team, are based on the Leagues Cup Ranking. Club America (League champion with a bye) will have hosting privileges through the semifinals, C.F. Monterrey (No. 1 rank) through Round of 16, Chivas Guadalajara (No. 4 rank) through Round of 32, and Tigres (No. 6 rank) throughout the Group Stage, rewarding the clubs according to their 2023 Apertura and Clausura performances.
This new format, based on the Leagues Cup Ranking, was a joint collaborative effort of the Leagues Cup Organizing Committee, comprising representatives from Leagues Cup, and both MLS and LIGA MX leadership. Considerations included rewarding regular season results and geographical regions while addressing learnings from 2023.
Knockout Rounds: Following the Group Stage, the advancing 30 teams will be joined by LIGA MX and MLS cup champions (Columbus Crew and Club America, respectively) and will be placed in a fixed bracket to compete in the single-game elimination Knockout Rounds beginning with the Round of 32 (16 matches), followed by Round of 16 (eight matches). The eight advancing teams will compete in the Quarterfinals (four matches) before the two Semifinal matches. Leagues Cup 2024 Third Place and Final will determine the three Concacaf Champions Cup qualified clubs.
No Ties: Leagues Cup will maintain its current No Ties format. Each team receives one point if the game is tied after 90 minutes. The winner of the subsequent penalty shootout will earn an additional point. Regulation wins count as three points, with games being decided by penalty kick in case of regular time draw.
Fans in over 100 countries and regions will be able to watch all 77 Leagues Cup matches on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer that is available on smart TVs, streaming devices, Apple devices, set-top boxes, game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com. In addition, TelevisaUnivision, TV Azteca, FOX Sports (FS1), TSN and RDS will be the linear broadcast home for selected group stage matches in Mexico, United States and Canada.
The Leagues Cup 2024 full bracket and schedule will be announced in the coming months.