Daily Kickoff - 12.14.23 - 2
What you need to know

2024 CCC draw results

The 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup field is set after Wednesday's live draw included 10 MLS clubs in the expanded 27-team tournament. Eight MLS clubs enter in Round One, while Columbus Crew (MLS Cup 2023 winner) and Inter Miami CF (League Cup 2023 winner) have an automatic bye into the Round of 16.

New York Red Bulls name Sandro Schwarz head coach

RBNY have a new face on the sidelines, announcing Sandro Schwarz as their head coach Thursday morning. The German native arrives after a managerial career highlighted by time at Bundesliga sides FSV Mainz 05 and Hertha Berlin, as well as Russian Premier League club Dynamo Moscow.

San Diego make Ferree inaugural signing

San Diego FC have made history, announcing US youth international goalkeeper Duran Ferree as their first-ever signing before competing as a 2025 MLS expansion team. The 17-year-old San Diego native is under contract through the 2027 season with an option for 2028. He most recently competed in the USL Championship for San Diego Loyal SC and featured for the United States at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Beitashour retires after 14-year MLS career

Steven Beitashour, after a 14-year MLS career, has retired from professional soccer. The 36-year-old fullback was part of Iran's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad and bows out as a 2017 MLS Cup champion with Toronto FC, completing a historic treble that year. He most recently played for the Colorado Rapids and tallied 5g/40a in 289 matches after starting his pro career in 2010 with the San Jose Earthquakes.

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Power ranking CCC 2024 difficulty level

For those who watched the 2024 CCC draw in its entirety, congratulations. You’ve achieved a new level of MLS fandom. For those who opted to find the results on club/league/confederation channels, we don’t blame you one bit. Life gets busy and sometimes you just want to know how the story ends. 

Whichever bucket you fall into, the question quickly becomes this: Who got a favorable (or not-so-favorable) draw? 

We’re here to help for MLS’ eight Round One entrants, going from easiest (8) to hardest (1). They’ll begin play in early-to-mid February, then two more MLS clubs join them in the Round of 16 (starts in early March) after receiving byes.


  • Opponent: Moca FC (Dominican Republic)

Ghosts of Violette AC aside (Austin FC fans know all too well), Nashville are the heavy favorite here. We’re talking about a historic upset if Hany Mukhtar & Friends don’t advance, and probably by a comfortable margin.

  • Opponent: Cavalier FC (Jamaica)

One team has Luciano Acosta and the other does not. Carry on.

  • Opponent: Cavalry FC (Canada)

Does anyone know how cold Calgary gets in February? We’re asking for a friend (everyone associated with Orlando City).

Jokes aside, the Lions have a talent advantage in likely every position on the field. They should take care of business, without much headache, across Leg 1 and Leg 2.

  • Opponent: Club Atlético Independiente (Panama)

The distance between Foxborough, Massachusetts (where New England play) and La Chorrera, Panama (where Independiente play) is, according to Google, a six-hour direct flight.

That’s the biggest hurdle facing the Revs, who have a ton of questions to answer this offseason. Even still, it would be shocking if they don’t reach the Round of 16.

  • Opponent: Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica)

A rematch! There was some, um, bad blood when Philadelphia and Saprissa met just two-and-a-half years ago. We suggest you watch this clip to learn more.

The Union ultimately won 5-0 on aggregate, and Jim Curtin’s group should again be in the driver’s seat. This core roster made two CCC semifinals in recent times (2021 and 2023), so they know how to navigate Concacaf.

  • Opponent: Each other!

Unfortunately, two MLS teams meet this early. But I suppose that’s what happens when the league has 10 of 27 teams in the competition (37%).

We’ll reserve a prediction here until rosters look more concrete in late January/early February. But there’s no shortage of quality on offer after Houston won the 2023 US Open Cup and St. Louis achieved a historic, Western Conference-topping expansion season.

  • Opponent: Tigres UANL (Mexico)

Gulp. Tigres are one of the region’s most dominant teams, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they ultimately join fellow Liga MX teams Club León and CF Monterrey in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup as Concacaf's fourth representative.

But the Whitecaps almost beat Tigres in the 2023 Leagues Cup Round of 32, only falling on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. And with most of their core roster back, the Fighting Ryan Gaulds might just spring an upset.

Round of 16 entrants

Columbus Crew: The MLS Cup 2023 winners will face either Houston or St. Louis. They’d have the upper hand against both Western Conference teams, but the right-hand side of the bracket is tough.

Inter Miami CF: Leagues Cup 2023 final rematch, anyone? We’d get that if Nashville beat Moca FC (Dominican Republic). If we have a series resembling what unfolded on Aug. 19 at GEODIS Park – when Lionel Messi scored a golazo and Drake Callender was the PK hero – we’re in for a treat.

Other things

ICYMI, offseason roster edition: This year’s Free Agency list, as well as those available via Re-Entry and Waivers, got announced yesterday.

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