Concacaf Champions Cup: how it works and how to watch the draw

The Concacaf Champions Cup draw is set for Wednesday night. The draw, broadcast at 6 pm CT on FS2 and online, will pit 32 teams from Concacaf in the region’s top club competition.

By virtue of their second place finish in Leagues Cup this summer, Nashville SC have qualified for the recently rebranded competition for the first time. For those unfamiliar with the competition, here are the basics:

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About CCC

  • The premier club competition in Concacaf (the FIFA region covering North America, Central America and the Caribbean) the tournament was known as “Concacaf Champions League” up until last year. The streets won’t forget CCL Fever, and the name will probably live on among fans.
  • Only one MLS club has ever won the Cup in its modern iteration; Seattle Sounders in 2022. D.C. United (1998) and L.A. Galaxy (2000) each won a Cup in its early format.
  • MLS clubs have made deeper runs in the tournament in the last decade. Since 2010, Real Salt Lake, CF Montrรฉal, Toronto FC, Seattle Sounders and LAFC (x2) have each made it to the final.

Which teams are in it?

27 teams qualified for the 2024 edition of the tournament.

Five teams get a bye to the round of 16, based on their performances in 2023. Those teams are; SV Robinhood ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท – 2023 Caribbean Cup champions, Alajuelense ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท – 2023 Central American Cup champions, Inter Miami CF ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ – 2023 Leagues Cup champions, Pachuca ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ – 2022-23 Liga MX Apertura champions with higher aggregate point total, and Columbus Crew ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ – 2023 MLS Cup champions.

The three highest-ranked teams in Concacaf’s club rankings are pre-seeded in Round One. Club Amรฉrica ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ, CF Monterrey ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ and Tigres UNAL ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ are already seeded and won’t be selected in the draw.

The other 19 teams have been split into two pots based on their Concacaf club rankings. Pot 1 contains the higher seeds, Pot 2 contains the lower.

  • Pot 1 (eight teams): CD Guadalajara ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ, Deportivo Toluca ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ, FC Cincinnati ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Houston Dynamo ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Nashville SC ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, New England Revolution ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Orlando City ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, and Philadelphia Union ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • Pot 2 (eleven teams): CA Independiente ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆ, Cavalier FC ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Cavalry FC ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ, Comuniaciaones FC ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡น, CS Herefiano ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท, Deportivo Saprissa ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท, Hamilton Forge FC ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ, Moca FC ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ด, Real Esteli FC ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ, St. Louis City SC ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ, and Vancouver Whitecaps ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

How the format works

Teams from Pot 1 will have their names and bracket positions randomly drawn, after which teams from Pot 2 will be randomly drawn to complete the bracket.

Round One through the semi-finals will be two-legged. Each team will play home and away, with aggregate scores determining the winner. The final will be a single match.

When are games played?

The complete Round One schedule will be announced following the draw, but windows for the games have already been established:

  • Round One: February 6-8 (Week 1), 13-15 (Week 2), 20-22 (Week 3) and 27-29 (Week 4)
  • Round of 16: March 5-7 (First Legs) and 12-14 (Second Legs)
  • Quarterfinals: April 2-4 (First Legs) and 9-11 (Second Legs)
  • Semifinals: April 23-25 (First Legs) and April 30 – May 2 (Second Legs)
  • Final: Sunday, June 2 (Single Leg)

Nashville SC could have as few as 55 days until their first competitive match of 2024. In years past, they’ve started their slate of preseason matches in mid January, but with Concacaf Champions Cup looming on the horizon, their timeline will almost certainly be pushed forward a a few weeks.

LAFC played 52 matches in 2023 with their runs to the Concacaf Champions League final and MLS Cup. Nashville already played 46 matches in 2023 without the added burden of continental competition, and will need to significantly deepen their roster if they have any ambitions of making a deep run. It’s an absolutely pivotal offseason for the Coyotes heading into their fifth year.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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