Five big takeaways from historic CCL and Leagues Cup announcements

Tuesday was a historic day in the history of Concacaf and North American soccer with the announcement of an expanded Champions League and a reimagined Leagues Cup.

If you’re still catching up and trying to figure out what it all means, here are the top five things you need to know.

CCL bigger than ever from 2024

From the spring of 2024, the Concacaf Champions League will feature 27 clubs and an extra knockout round. Twenty-two teams will enter at Round One with a further five joining at the Round of 16 stage.

Round One, the Round of 16, Quarterfinals and Semifinals will be contested over home-and-away series. Meanwhile, the final involves a one-off, single-location matchup.

New routes to CCL qualification

As well as five guaranteed places for MLS, six for Liga MX, two for the Canadian Premier League and the winners of the U.S. Open Cup and the Canadian Championship, the expanded CCL will also feature qualification from three new regional tournaments that begin in 2023.

Six places will go to the best-performing teams from the Central America Cup, three from the Caribbean Cup and finally, three will come from the all-new Leagues Cup.

Historic re-imagined Leagues Cup

The second-ever Leagues Cup will conclude with Wednesday's final between MLS' Seattle Sounders and Liga MX's Club Leon (10 pm ET | ESPN2, UniMas, TUDN), but from 2023 the competition will have a whole new exciting look.

Every single team – yes every last one – from MLS and Liga MX will compete over a month-long competition every summer. From 2023, that means 29 clubs from MLS and 18 clubs from MLS.

Leagues Cup 2023 will make history as the first major soccer tournament to feature every club from a pair of top-flight leagues.

Huge stakes

The new Leagues Cup will be an officially sanctioned Concacaf event. After the month-long competition, the Leagues Cup winner will qualify straight to the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16, while the second-place and third-place finishers will enter in Round One.

From there, the quest is on to win CCL and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup and compete with other top clubs from across the globe.

If those stakes weren't enough to ensure every club goes all out to win the event, the MLS season will be pausing for a month so teams can put their full focus on Leagues Cup before returning to MLS regular-season play.

Full speed ahead 2026

Tuesday’s announcements were the latest, and biggest, steps in showcasing the force of the growing partnership between Concacaf neighbors and, specifically, MLS and Liga MX as the region prepares to host the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Already this summer and fall, there was the first-ever MLS All-Star Game presented by Target to feature a face-off between the best of MLS and Liga MX; the second edition of Leagues Cup; and next week will include the Campeones Cup between MLS champions Columbus Crew and Liga MX counterparts Cruz Azul.

There’s truly never been a better time to be a fan of soccer in North America.