From last in the league, to the best regular season in franchise history, 2016 represented quite the turnaround for the Colorado Rapids. In 2017-18, they will be rewarded for their efforts, with a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The format of the tournament will look different than it has in past past years. There will no longer be a group stage. Instead, there will be a 16-team knockout tournament.

As in past years, the top four teams from MLS will earn a birth, as will the top Canadian side, four qualifying clubs from Mexico, the victor of the Caribbean Club Championship, the national champions from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, as well as the winner of a combined Central American and Caribbean tournament that will take place from August to October of the previous year.

The play-in tournament will feature the runners-up and losing semifinalists of the Caribbean Club Championship, plus two teams each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua, as well as one from Belize.

The CCL will begin in Feb. 2018 and run through May. Each matchup will be a home-and-home series with aggregate scoring. The winner will earn a place in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup