Every Major League Soccer and Liga MX club will pause their seasons in the summer of 2023 to participate in an expanded Leagues Cup as the North American leagues continue to integrate, officials said on Tuesday.
The Leagues Cup will showcase the sport in the region in the years leading up to the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, they said.
“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.
“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,” he 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.”
As currently configured, the Leagues Cup sees four teams from MLS and four teams from Mexico’s Liga MX play in a single-elimination tournament.
The Leagues Cup final between MLS’s Seattle Sounders and Liga MX’s Club Leon will be held on Wednesday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in the growing partnership between the leagues.
In June, MLS’s Garber and Liga MX executive president Mikel Arriola told Reuters they were on a path that could see them ultimately merge into one North American league.
In August, the MLS held its coronavirus-delayed all-star game in Los Angeles and for the first time played it against Liga MX’s all-stars.
The home side beat the visitors in a penalty shootout with the winning spot kick coming from 18-year-old FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi.