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 Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC to Play Toluca and Chicago in Leagues Cup

January 31, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Sporting Kansas City News Release


Major League Soccer and LIGA MX, in collaboration with Concacaf, announced today the format and groups for Leagues Cup 2024, the second edition of the international soccer competition featuring all 47 first division clubs from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Sporting Kansas City will compete in Group Four of the West Region along with 10-time LIGA MX champions Deportivo Toluca FC and fellow MLS foe Chicago Fire FC as the month-long tournament unfolds from July 26 to August 25 to crown a winner and qualify the top three finishers for the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup.

Leagues Cup 2024 will consist of 77 matches played across the United States and Canada with the official schedule -- including match dates, host venues and ticket information -- for the World Cup-style tournament to be announced at a later date.

All three teams in Sporting Kansas City's group advanced to the Knockout Stage of last year's tournament with Deportivo Toluca FC winning Group 4 in the Central Region and Chicago Fire FC finishing first in Group 2 in the Central Region.

Two-time Concacaf champions Toluca are led by new head coach Renato Paiva and a trio of international attackers with Mexican Alexis Vega, Uruguayan Maximiliano Araujo and Chilean Jean Meneses. Toluca FC earned a 4-1 victory over Sporting in last year's Leagues Cup Round of 32 to avenge a 5-0 loss on aggregate against SKC in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League Round of 16.

Chicago Fire FC are led by manager Frank Klopas and assistant coach Paulo Nagamura, both former players in Kansas City with Klopas (1996-97) scoring in the club's inaugural match and Nagamura (2012-16) lifting MLS Cup at Children's Mercy Park in 2013. The Fire roster is headlined by 32-year-old playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, who featured for Switzerland in the last four FIFA World Cups and has extensive European experience highlighted by Bundesliga and English Premier League titles, UEFA Champions League trophies and FIFA Club World Cup championships.

Fans in over 100 countries and regions will be able to watch Leagues Cup 2024 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, TV Azteca, TelevisaUnivision, FOX Sports, TSN and RDS will be the linear broadcast home for select Leagues Cup matches in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Leagues Cup 2024 Format

In 2024, the tournament introduces a tiered Leagues Cup Ranking system based on combined MLS and LIGA MX club performance using points in the last 34 regular season matches. MLS teams are ranked based on the 2023 MLS Supporters' Shield standings, while LIGA MX clubs are ranked based on the cumulative 34 matches in the 2023 Clausura and Apertura tournaments.

Leagues Cup 2024 Rankings

Group Four in West Region

No. 9 Deportivo Toluca FC (LIGA MX)

No. 22 Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

No. 34 Chicago Fire FC (MLS)

All clubs - except Club America and Columbus Crew, which automatically advance to the Round of 32 as each league's champion - are divided into three tiers based on the Leagues Cup Ranking (1-15, 16-30, 31-45). The 15 groups feature one team from each tier while prioritizing geographical and competitive balance among the 45 clubs in the Group Stage. Leagues Cup 2024 will be played in two regions with seven groups in the East and eight groups in the West to regionalize travel.

This new format, based on the Leagues Cup Ranking, was a joint collaborative effort of the Leagues Cup Committee, comprising representatives from Leagues Cup, and both MLS and LIGA MX leadership. Considerations included rewarding regular season results and maintaining geographical regions while addressing learnings from 2023.

Teams will play two matches in the Group Stage with the top two teams from each group, as determined by points, advancing to the Round of 32 in the Knockout Stage. Regulation wins will earn three points and each team will receive one point if the game is tied after 90 minutes, however no matches in the Group Stage will end in a tie. If a game is tied after 90 minutes, the game will proceed to a penalty shootout and the winner of the shootout will earn an additional point.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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