MLS, LIGA MX announce part of next year’s Leagues Cup tournament schedule

The Leagues Cup tournament, which features Atlanta United and teams from MLS against teams from LIGA MX, will start July 21, with the championship scheduled for Aug. 19, according to information released by MLS on Thursday.

Both leagues’ seasons will be suspended during the tournament.

The tournament will consist of 77 matches. There will be a group stage, with 15 groups divided into four regions, composed of three teams each. Two teams, the MLS Cup champs and the LIGA MX teams with the most combined points from its 2022 Apertura and Clausura seasons, will receive byes into the knockout rounds.

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The group stages will feature the top 15 MLS teams seeded by their finish in the Supporters’ Shield standings, as well as by region, and will host two matches each. The top 15 LIGA MX clubs will be seeded by their combined points from the Apertura and Clausura and placed into groups in reverse order of seeding. So, the 15th-place LIGA MX club will be put in the same group as the top-seeded MLS club.

The remaining 13 MLS clubs, which will include Atlanta United because it can’t finish as high as 15th, and two LIGA MX clubs will be divided and drawn into groups. These MLS clubs will host one game each.

Every team will play two matches in the group stage. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout rounds. Group-stage matches can’t end in draws. If a score is tied at the end of regulation, each team will earn one point. The team that wins the subsequent penalty-kick shootout will earn an additional point.

The Leagues Cup winner will qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16. The second- and third-place clubs will qualify for the first round.

The tournament schedule isn’t yet set.

“Leagues Cup 2023 is an important step in the partnership between MLS and LIGA MX, and we’re pleased to unveil key competition elements for next summer’s tournament,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement provided by the league. “There has never been anything like Leagues Cup in major professional sports on this continent or anywhere else, and we believe the tournament will help elevate the profile of Concacaf throughout the world.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

August 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

August 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

August 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

August 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

August 28 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2

August 31 Philadelphia 4, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 4 Portland 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 10 Atlanta United 4, Toronto 2

Sept. 14 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 0

Sept 17 Atlanta United 0 Philadelphia 0

Oct. 1 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE