Major League Soccer and Liga MX announced a new partnership Tuesday, which will include an annual tournament, a future All-Star battle and collaboration on bets business practices and social responsibility.
The partnership is a “long-term initiative to further strengthen the sport” in North America, according to a statement released by MLS. “The strategic partnership, which brings together the nations of the United bid – Canada, Mexico and the United States – to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup at the club and league level, will focus on sharing best practices, prioritizing social responsibility efforts, and creating new competition to fuel the existing rivalry among countries on the field.”
Liga MX is Mexico’s top-tier soccer league, comprised of 18 clubs. MLS features 23 clubs this year with the addition of Los Angeles FC.
The annual tournament, Campeones Cup, will begin this year and pit the champions of each league against each other to crown the best club on the continent. Reigning MLS champ Toronto FC will host the first installment Sept. 19 at BMO Field against the Liga MX champion, which will be decided in July.
“Major League Soccer is proud to come together with Liga MX for this unprecedented partnership,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in the statement. “Together, we have a vision to elevate the popularity of our game to even higher levels in North America. We are excited to have the MLS champion take on Liga MX’s top club in the Campeones Cup this year and build further programs in the years to come.”
Each year, the MLS All-Star game features the league’s best players against a top foreign club. The week-long event also includes other events, such as the MLS Homegrown game. In addition to the MLS All-Stars taking on the Liga MX All-Stars at some point in the future, Liga MX’s under-20 teams will be the annual opponent for MLS’ homegrowns during the event.
“For Mexican soccer, accepting the invitation to this project is a fantastic opportunity to meet our vital goals with a long-term vision,” Enrique Bonilla, Liga MX President, said. “First, it will allow us to grow closer to our fans in the United States and Canada, who are passionate about their Liga MX clubs. Second, it establishes a strategic alliance between the two leagues to exchange experiences and implement best practices throughout both organizations, which will organically assist the growth of soccer in the region.”
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates following Pro Soccer USA’s interview Tuesday morning with Garber and Bonilla.
For more information on the new competition visit www.CampeonesCup.com.