The 2022 Concacaf Champions League slot that would have been awarded to the 2021 Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup winner will instead go to the highest-ranked MLS club not already qualified, based on their regular-season record, following approval by the Concacaf Council, US Soccer announced Tuesday.
This year's U.S. Open Cup was canceled for a second straight campaign due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner's slot for this year's Concacaf Champions League was filled by the 2019 U.S. Open Cup winners, Atlanta United.
The US receives four berths in the 16-team CCL. For the 2022 edition, the spots will be awarded as follows:
- 2021 MLS Cup champions
- 2021 MLS Supporters' Shield winners
- 2021 MLS Eastern or Western Conference regular-season winners
- Team with the next-best MLS regular-season record
MLS teams from Canada can qualify for the CCL through the Canadian Championship. CF Montréal and Toronto FC remain in pursuit of this year's Voyageurs Cup, while Vancouver Whitecaps FC are out of contention.
The 2021 Concacaf Champions League is nearing its climax, with the second leg of the semifinals taking place this week. The remaining MLS representative, the Philadelphia Union, will look to overturn a 2-0 aggregate deficit to Liga MX's Club America on Wednesday (9 pm ET | FS1, Univision, TUDN).
The following night, Liga MX sides Cruz Azul and Monterrey will face off for the other spot in the final (10 pm ET | FS2, Univision, TUDN).