Sat, 23 Oct 2021

Liga MX, MLS unveil expanded Leagues Cup plans

Xinhua
22 Sep 2021, 10:49 GMT+10

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Mexico's Liga MX and Major League Soccer (MLS) will pause their seasons for an entire month from 2023 to accommodate for an expanded Leagues Cup, both entities said on Tuesday.

All clubs from both leagues will participate in the revamped competition, which will offer three qualification spots for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League.

"The new Leagues Cup, with every club in MLS and Liga MX competing in an intense, month-long tournament will establish new standards for what is possible between our two leagues, and further showcase our players and clubs to a global audience," MLS commissioner Don Garber said.

An annual summer tournament, the Leagues Cup began in 2019 as part of a growing North American football alliance.

The competition currently comprises four clubs each from the MLS and Liga MX. The final of the current edition between Seattle Sounders and Club Leon will be held on Wednesday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

"Since its launch three and a half years ago, our partnership with Liga MX has grown quickly and the competition has brought out the best in both of us," Garber said.

"This is the perfect moment to produce a tournament that will elevate the profile of CONCACAF and showcase the incredible passion our region has for soccer played at the highest level," he added.

The announcement is the latest in a series of moves that officials say could lead to a merger between the MLS and Liga MX.

In March, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that a fusion could "quite well be the best league in the world" while Mexico national team manager Gerardo Martino has also supported the idea.

In August, the MLS and the Liga MX met in an all-star game in Los Angeles, which the hosts won on penalties.

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