The new MLS and Liga MX competition seems to be taking a page out of the FA and soccer associations around the world.
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According to a report in The Athletic, the eight-team annual tournament set to begin in 2019 will be called the Leagues Cup. Per the report, the MLS teams that will be involved are the Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake. They’ll be opposing Cruz Azul, Club America, Club Tijuana and Tigres UANL. In addition quarterfinal matchups will kick off on July 21, with these matchups:
Real Salt Lake v. Tigres
Houston Dynamo v. Club America
Chicago Fire v. Cruz Azul
LA Galaxy v. Club Tijuana
It’s unclear of why MLS chose these clubs, though it could be for marketing purposes with plenty of Liga MX fans in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston. As of now, all four clubs have matches for that first weekend during July 21, so it would involve some interesting scheduling arrangements.
The report states that, unsurprisingly, all the matches for this tournament will be played in the U.S. Unlike the CONCACAF Champions League, an actual competition pitting each league’s best teams in the confederation, the Leagues Cup is clearly a way for MLS and Liga MX to get their hands on even more ticket and sponsorship money by bringing more Mexican clubs to the U.S. for games with more meaning than a random summer friendly match.
Ultimately, if this tournament does take the teams that didn’t finish atop their leagues, then perhaps it gives those teams in the MLS mid-tier a chance to test themselves against Liga MX competition.