How does the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup work? New format, teams, rounds, tiebreakers, dates…


The CONCACAF Champions League is no more, with the CONCACAF Champions Cup making its return for the first time since 2008. 2023 Leagues Cup winners Inter Miami, with Lionel Messi in tow, will hope to lead the American charge, while Liga MX giants Club América and Chivas are the fancied Mexican hopefuls among the 27 participants.

What is the format for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup?

The new format – rather bucking the trend in soccer of late – could hardly be simpler. There is no group phase, with each of the five rounds consisting of knockout ties.

From round one through to the semifinals, all ties are played over two legs, with away goals used as the first tiebreaker if the two teams involved are level after 180 minutes. If they still can’t be separated, extra time – in which away goals no longer count – and a penalty shootout will determine the winner.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect is that teams will be awarded points for wins (three) and draws (one) in the tournament, although they will only be used to decide which team hosts the second leg of ties after the round of 16.

How did teams qualify for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup?

As well as through national leagues in the United States (MLS), Mexico (Liga MX) and Canada (Canadian Premier League), teams could also qualify via international competitions within CONCACAF, including the Leagues Cup (three teams), the CONCACAF Caribbean Cup (three teams) and the CONCACAF Central American Cup (six teams)

22 teams enter in round one, which results in 11 ties and 11 winners, who join five teams who start in the round of 16.

Which 27 teams are playing in the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup?

Teams entering in Round One

  • Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)
  • Forge FC (Canada)
  • Cavalry FC (Canada)
  • Cavalier (Jamaica)
  • Moca (Dominican Republic)
  • Real Estelí (Nicaragua)
  • Indepeniente (Panama)
  • Herediano (Costa Rica)
  • Comunicaciones (Guatemala)
  • Saprissa (Costa Rica)
  • Nashville SC (United States)
  • Phildeldphia Union (United States)
  • FC Cincinatti (United States)
  • St. Louis City (United States)
  • Orlando City SC (United States)
  • New England Revolution (United States)
  • Houston Dynamo (United States)
  • Tigres (Mexico)
  • Toluca (Mexico)
  • Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • Monterrey (Mexico)
  • Club América (Mexico)

Teams entering in Round of 16

  • Robinhood (Suriname), 2023 Caribbean Cup champions
  • Alajuelense (Costa Rica), 2023 Central American Cup champions
  • Inter Miami (United States), 2023 Leagues Cup champions
  • Columbus Crew (United States), 2023 MLS Cup champions
  • Pachuca (Mexico), 2022–23 Liga MX Apertura or Clausura champions with higher aggregate table points

2024 CONCACAF Champions League round one draw

Five of the two-legged round one ties will be played to a completion in the first half of February, with the remaining six taking place in the second half of the month.

  • Saprissa – Philadelphia Union, 20 & 27 February
  • Herediano – Toluca,  7 & 15 February
  • Real Estelí – América, 6 & 14 February
  • Forge FC  – Guadalajara,  7 & 13 February
  • Independiente – New England Revolution, 21 & 29 February
  • St. Louis City SC  – Houston Dynamo, 20 & 27 February
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Tigres, 7 & 14 February
  • Cavalry FC  – Orlando City SC, 21 & 27 February
  • Comunicaciones  – Monterrey, 6 & 15 February
  • Cavalier FC Cincinnati, 22 & 28 February
  • Moca  – Nashville SC, 22 & 28 February

2024 CONCACAF Champions League schedule

Unlike the rest of the competition, the final will be a one-off match played a neutral venue.

Round One

  • First legs: 6-8 February & 20–22 February
  • Second legs 13–15 February and 27–29 February

Round of 16

  • First legs: 5-7 March 
  • Second legs: 12-14 March 

Quarter-finals

  • First legs: 2-4 April
  • Second legs: 9-11 April 

Semi-finals

  • First legs: 23-25 April
  • Second legs: 30 April – 2 May

Final

The winner of the tournament will receive over $5 million in financial distributions and prize money, which CONCACAF say is more than five times more than what as on the line during the CONCACAF Champions League era.



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