Liga MX and MLS announced on Tuesday that they will stop their leagues in 2023, to implement what they have long sought: an inter-league tournament involving the 47 clubs that make up both leagues, the League Cup. Currently, MLS has 27 teams, but by that date St. Louis and Charlotte are expected to add to their teams, for their part, Mexico will contribute their 18 teams.
The tournament will be similar to the World Cup, as it will take place for a month and will be designed based on groups. The best in each group will pass the first round, then begin the playoffs in direct elimination matches.
The League Cup winners will automatically get a place in the Round of 16 of CONCACAMBU, while the second and third places will automatically qualify for the said tournament starting from the first round.
Cruz was the first champion of this tournament in 2019 and the next winner will be decided on Wednesday between Seattle Sounders and Lyon.
“This will set new standards for what is possible between the two leagues, and further expose our players and clubs to a global audience,” Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said on Tuesday. “Since its launch three and a half years ago, our relationship with Liga MX has grown rapidly and the competition has brought the best of both leagues.”
The chief executive of the Mexican league described the announcement as “historic”.
“This is an example of coordination and alignment of goals between the Confederations, MLS and Liga MX,” said Mikel Areola. “All parties involved have joined forces on the goal of providing American football fans and around the world with greater entertainment and spectacle. Liga MX and MLS clubs will have an even more intense competition schedule to raise the bar and quality of the game.”
Areola also highlighted the economic benefit this tournament format would offer to be “reinvested, creating a virtuous circle that helps develop players, clubs and market opportunities for football and sports in general”.
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