CONCACAF Champions Cup 2024 Draw: All You Need To Know
Following Columbus Crew’s 2-1 victory over LAFC in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday, the complete field for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup is set. Five teams, including the Crew, will enter the Round of 16 directly. The remaining 22 sides commence action in round one.
The draw to complete the opening bracket will occur on Wednesday at 19 :00 EST (17:00 MT, 16:00 PT). Here is a look at the draw procedure (including all the teams), how the rankings are done, as well as the dates for the draw.
Draw Details and Teams Involved
Wednesday’s draw will see teams seeded and drawn into the bracket. The complete tournament will be decided on the night, with all 27 teams knowing their path to the final.
The five teams to enter directly at the Round of 16 are the winners of each subcontinental tournament, the MLS Cup winner, and the LigaMX tournament winner with the better aggregate score. These five clubs, in order of their ranking, are: Pachuca, Columbus Crew, Inter Miami, Alajuelense, and SV Robinhood.
For the draw, CONCACAF has placed all five Round of 16 entrants, as well as the three highest ranked teams in round one, into the bracket in predetermined positions. This ensures that none of these eight teams can face each other in the opening round or the Round of 16. The three highest ranked clubs in round one are Club America, Monterrey, and Tigres.
The remaining round one teams will be drawn into the bracket. The other eight seeded teams in round one, in order of their CONCACAF ranking, are: Philadelphia Union, Toluca, Guadalajara, Orlando SC, FC Cincinnati, New England Revolution, and Houston Dynamo.
Once the seeded teams are drawn, the unseeded teams will also be drawn into the bracket. The unseeded teams, in order of their CONCACAF ranking, are: Vancouver Whitecaps, Deportivo Saprissa, St. Louis City, Herediano, Comunicaciones, CA Independiente, Cavalry, Forge, Real Estelí, Moca, and Cavalier.
This marks the first year the Canadian Premier League will have two entrants in the competition, with the new expanded format of the Champions Cup awarding Canada’s top flight two berths: one for the regular season champion, and one for the playoff champion.
The dates for the cup matches will always take place between Tuesday and Thursday. The only exception is the final, which will occur on Sunday, June 2, 2024. It will be a single leg match at a neutral venue. Round one will occur across the four weeks in February.
New CONCACAF Ranking
Earlier in the year, CONCACAF announced a new method of ranking clubs across the continent. Matches in continental play (both CONCACAF Champions Cup and regional cups), domestic leagues, plus the Canadian Championship and US Open Cup will count towards the ranking. Clubs who are in the top tier of CONCACAF’s professional leagues, plus clubs competing in CONCACAF competitions from the non-professional leagues, will have a ranking.
The CONCACAF clubs ranking, which is similar to that used for the FIFA world rankings, are calculated as follows:
Updated score = Old score + F * (result – expected result)
The F value is a weighted competition factor: Champions Cup games give a value of 10, regional cups (Leagues Cup, Central American Cup, and Caribbean Cup) are 5, and league games (plus Canadian Championship and US Open Cup) are weighted at 2.5.
The result yields 1 for a win, 0 for a draw, and -1 for a loss. Finally, the expected result is a value between -1 and 1, based on the teams’ ranking scores and home field advantage.
The team that are favourites to win a game would have a value between 0 and 1, while the underdog has a value between 0 and -1. The two numbers are the addition inverse elements of each other. That is to say, if the team who is favourite has an expected result value of 0.25, the underdog would have an expected result value of -0.25.
Clubs also receive points for their performance in the FIFA Club World Cup, based on how far they go.
In what is the first season of the CONCACAF Champions Cup following the revamp, we can expect to see plenty of drama across the region. Who will go all the way this time around?
Header Image Photo Credit: Concacaf