Austin FC cele Driussi

Austin FC have earned a place in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League, completing the five-club contingent that’ll represent MLS in next year’s continental competition.

The Verde & Black qualified as the next-best American finisher in the overall league table, despite losing 3-0 at LAFC in the Western Conference Final on Sunday afternoon. The berth will arrive during year No. 3 for head coach Josh Wolff’s team, and as star attacker Sebastian Driussi builds off a 22g/7a campaign.

Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC are already in, and fellow MLS Cup 2022 finalist Philadelphia Union (Eastern Conference champions) have a spot secured as the other conference winner – irrespective of how the league title bout goes Nov. 5. Their technical designations will change based on the result next Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

CF Montréal, third in the overall league table and above Austin, were unable to get the spot Josh Wolff’s team claimed since they’re based in Canada, per CCL rules. They would have had to win the 2022 Canadian Championship, a spot that went to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Here is MLS’s 2023 CCL field:

  • Austin FC - Highest-ranked US-based MLS club not already qualified
  • LAFC - 2022 MLS Cup champions or 2022 MLS Supporters' Shield champions
  • Orlando City SC - 2022 US Open Cup champions
  • Philadelphia Union - 2022 MLS Cup champions or 2022 Eastern Conference regular-season champions
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 2022 Canadian Championship champions

2023 schedule, draw

The 16-team tournament features two-legged matchups at each stage, as capped by the Final’s second leg on June 4. The overall winner will represent Concacaf at the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.

  • Round of 16: March 7-9 (first legs) and March 14-16 (second legs)
  • Quarterfinals: April 4-6 (first legs) and April 11-13 (second legs)
  • Semifinals: April 25-27 (first legs) and May 2-4 (second legs)
  • Final: May 31 (first leg) and June 4 (second leg)

The official draw is set for Nov. 7 in Miami, Florida and will be conducted using a double-blind system and four pots.