This summer, New York City FC and the rest of Major League Soccer will take a mid-season break in order to participate in the 2023 edition of the Leagues Cup. The fairly new tournament is in its third year, and for the first time, all MLS and Liga MX teams will participate.
All teams will play in a small group stage against two other teams. The team with the least amount of points in the group stage will be eliminated while everyone else moves on and plays in the knockout stage.
New York City FC and the Leagues Cup details
On Thursday, New York City FC officially announced the details for the club’s 2023 Leagues Cup. Supporters already knew the Pigeons are to face both Toronto FC and Atlas F.C., but finally more information was released.
Both matches will take place toward the end of July. NYCFC will first play against Atlas on July 23 at 7 PM. Then, on July 26, they will face Toronto at 7:30 PM. The first game will thankfully be at Citi Field, but unfortunately the second one will be at Red Bull Arena. Nonetheless, both are considered home matches, so that is always a good thing.
Still, NYCFC did confirm that all remaining possible home fixtures in the Cup will be in New Jersey. As always, this is not ideal. Historically, fans do not trek out to Red Bull Arena, often due to location and out of protest. Plus, it never looks good when a team has to play a home game at their rival’s stadium.
Alas, despite the distaste, the real New York team will have to play some matches there until the new stadium is completed. At least the team does everything possible to schedule fixtures at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.
Additionally, the schedule for the knockout rounds was released. If NYCFC makes it into the round of 32, then they will play anywhere between August 2-4. The final and third place matches will be played on August 19. If the Pigeons are eliminated earlier than they would prefer, then it is yet to be seen whether they would schedule a friendly before the MLS season picks up again. Of course, ideally the club moves on as far as possible.
The Leagues Cup will be an interesting addition to the season for not just New York City FC, but for all MLS and Liga MX teams. Only time will tell whether it is a success.