COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids have been drawn with LIGA MX side Toluca and MLS side Nashville SC in the group stage of the inaugural edition of Leagues Cup, Major League Soccer announced today.
“We’re incredibly excited to take part in the inaugural edition of Leagues Cup, which is one of the most compelling initiatives in world soccer,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. “The opportunity to face off against some of the top teams in our confederation while providing fans with a unique experience is something we’re very much looking forward to.”
Taking place from July 21 to August 19, Leagues Cup 2023 is an official Concacaf competition that will see all 47 clubs from LIGA MX and MLS play in a World Cup-style tournament based in the U.S. The tournament winner, as well as its second and third-place finishers, will automatically qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and have an opportunity to earn a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Rapids, Toluca and Nashville SC will occupy the fourth group in the Central region. Leagues Cup 2023 groups are based on clubs' 2022 performance along with their geographic regions. Every team will play two matches in the group stage, with the top two teams from each group, as determined by points, advancing to the knockout stage. No matches in the Leagues Cup Group Stage will end in a tie. If a game is tied after 90 minutes, the game will proceed to a penalty shootout. The Leagues Cup 2023 bracket, schedule and full competition guidelines will be announced in the coming months.
One of the most successful clubs in Mexican soccer, Toluca has won the third-most LIGA MX championships (10), in addition to a Concacaf Champions League title and two Copa MX titles. The club is led by former Mexican international Ignacio Ambriz as its head coach and features former Real Salt Lake winger Sebastián Saucedo and former Mexican national team left back Jorge Torres Nilo in its squad.
Nashville SC is led by 2022 MLS MVP & Golden Boot winner Hany Mukhtar, along with U.S. Men’s National Team defender Walker Zimmerman, and is coached by former Rapids head coach Gary Smith. The club’s Leagues Cup Group Stage match against the Rapids could be the only time the two sides face off this year after Nashville was moved to the MLS Eastern Conference for the 2023 season.
Fans will be able to watch Leagues Cup on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, which is available on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices from Roku, Amazon, and Google, game consoles and the web at tv.apple.com. In addition, TelevisaUnivision, FOX Sports, TSN and RDS will be the linear broadcast home for select Leagues Cup matches. The Leagues Cup Final will be available on Univision.