2018 CONCACAF Champions League Bracket
Courtesy of CONCACAF

Your cheat sheet for the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League

The revamped 2018 Concacaf Champions League continues this week with two MLS teams in action in the semfinals.

Before the final four begins across the continent, here's what you need to know about the competition and what's at stake from an MLS perspective.

The Format

The competition is still called the 2018 Concacaf Champions League, but in reality it bears resemblance to an expanded version of a previous version of the competition, the Concacaf Champions Cup.

Starting this year, the tournament proper is now contested entirely in knockout round format, beginning with the Round of 16 in February. Teams play a two-legged, total goals series in each round to advance. The teams that advance to the final in late April will play eight games in the competition in total.

What's at Stake?

As always, the winner gets to represent Concacaf in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, a six-team tournament that will be held in late December in the United Arab Emirates.

From an MLS perspective, there is the added allure of becoming the first MLS side to win the competition since it was rebranded as the CONCACAF Champions League (The last MLS side to win a CONCACAF Champions Cup were the 2000 LA Galaxy).

Who Gets In?

Of the 16 entrants, 15 are automatic qualifiers based on their domestic play. The 16th team is Honduran side Olimpia, the winners of last fall's CONCACAF League, a qualifying tournament played only among Central American and Caribbean CONCACAF sides.

As far as MLS goes, the formula is relatively unchanged here. Four US sides and one Canadian side qualify. Four Liga MX sides are also in the field.

What has happened so far?

The Round of 16 began with five MLS teams: Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. TFC knocked out the Rapids in that round, while the Red Bulls beat Honduran team Olimpia and the Sounders defeated Salvadoran team Santa Tecla. Dallas were the only team to not advance from the round, as they fell to Panama's Tauro FC.

In the quarterfinals, two of the three MLS entrants advanced, with the Red Bulls downing Club Tijuana and TFC edging Tigres UANL. The Sounders fell at the final hurdle, losing the decisive game against Chivas de Guadalajara.

The semifinal round begins Tuesday, with teams contesting their second legs the following week. Here's the full schedule for MLS teams:

Semifinal, 1st Leg

  • Tuesday, Apr. 3: Toronto FC vs. Club América (8 pm ET | UDN, go90.com; TSN in Canada)
  • Wednesday, Apr. 4: Chivas vs. New York Red Bulls (10 pm ET | UDN, go90.com)

Semifinal, 2nd Leg

  • Tuesday, Apr. 10: New York Red Bulls vs. Chivas (8 pm ET | UDN, go90.com)
  • Tuesday, Apr. 10: Club América vs. Toronto FC (10 pm ET | UDN, go90.com; TSN in Canada)

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