The Concacaf Champions Cup has kicked off as a team tries to unseat reigning champions Club Leon of Liga MX. It has been a tournament dominated by Mexico with Liga MX teams winning 16 consecutive titles before the Seattle Sounders became the first champion from MLS in 2022 but Mexico then returned to their usual programming in 2023. But in the 2024 edition, things are a little different with Lionel Messi and Inter Miami now participating in the North American continental competition.
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Featuring a name change from Concacaf Champions League back to Concacaf Champions Cup, that’s not the only difference in the competition that will now conclude on June 2.
The group stage is now gone for good with 27 clubs participating and five of those clubs receiving a bye straight to the round of 16. Each stage will include home and away legs until the final which is now a one-off match at a neutral site. With qualification for the expanded FIFA Club World Cup on the line, it’s a trophy that can give teams the ability to test their strength against global powers like Real Madrid and Manchester City.
First round schedule and scores
All times Eastern
Tuesday, Feb. 6
Comunicaciones 1, Monterrey 4
Real Esteli 2, Club America 1
Wednesday, Feb. 7
Herediano 1, Toluca 2
Forge 1, Chivas Guadalajara 4
Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Tigres UNAL 1
Tuesday, Feb. 13
Chivas. Guadalajara vs. Forge, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Tigres UNAL vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 8 p.m.
Club America vs. Real Esteli, 10:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 15
Toluca vs. Herediano, 8 p.m.
Monterrey vs. Comunicaciones, 10:15
Tuesday, Feb. 20
St. Louis City SC vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m.
Deportivo Saprissa vs. Philadelphia Union, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Independiente vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m.
Cavalry vs. Orlando City SC, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 22
Moca vs. Nashville SC, 7 p.m.
Cavalier vs. FC Cincinnati, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Orlando City SC vs. Calvary, 6 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. Deportivo Saprissa, 8:15 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. St. Louis City SC, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28
FC Cincinnati vs. Cavalier, 7 p.m.
Nashville SC vs. Mova, 9:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 29
New England Revolution vs. Independiente, 8:15 p.m.
What teams get byes to the round of 16?
Due to performance in competitions such as the Leagues Cup these five teams will start play in the round of 16 which is from Mar. 5-7:
- Inter Miami
- L.D. Alajuelense
- Columbus Crew
Who has already qualified for the Club World Cup?
As there will now be four Concacaf representatives at the 2025 Club World Cup, the Champions Cup winners from the past three editions have already qualified and will be joined by the winner of this tournament:
- Seattle Sounders
- Club Leon
What else does the winner qualify for?
FIFA has created a new tournament called the FIFA Intercontinental Cup which includes the winners of each club championship within each FIFA Confederation. So this will include the winners of AFC Champions League, UEFA Champions League, Concacaf Champions Cup, CAF Champions League, Copa Libertadores, and OFC Champions League. This tournament will provide the ability to determine the true top club in the world and is scheduled to take place in December of 2024.