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How Philadelphia Union can qualify for the 2025 Club World Cup



The world’s very best players and clubs are coming to the United States next summer for the 2025 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup. The formerly annual tournament is taking on a new format where teams will qualify over four years for a much larger and less frequent competition.

Seattle Sounders FC have already clinched a spot in next summer’s field by winning the 2022 Concacaf Champions Cup (then Champions League) and will be joined by at least one other MLS team.

Despite their elimination from this current edition of the Champions Cup, Philadelphia Union can still qualify through a truly odd set of events.

Mexican “Gigantes” CF Monterrey is into the last four of the competition and is set to face Columbus tonight. Since Rayados won the 2021 Champions League and clinched a spot in the next Club World Cup, they have no need for qualification from this route.

If Monterrey lifts the trophy in June, the final Concacaf spot will be decided via a tiebreaker. FIFA has determined that the tiebreaker is the total points accumulated in continental competitions with bonuses for advancements to further rounds, a metric that favors Philadelphia.

Due to a rule that allows only two clubs from each association, Mexican clubs are unable to qualify via the tiebreaker. The only American team close to the top of the list for this tiebreaker is Jim Curtin’s side. In much simpler terms, if Monterrey wins the Champions Cup, Philadelphia clinches a berth in the 2025 Club World Cup on home soil.

One “host” spot is also available for an American club, but many have speculated that this will simply be the 2024 MLS Cup Champion.

Evan Cohen is a Philadelphia native currently studying at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Philadelphia Union supporter since the club's start in 2010, Evan began contributing to Philadelphia Soccer Now in 2023.

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