Major League Soccer and Liga MX announced a long-term partnership, designed to strengthen the sport in North America.
The alliance, bringing together the three nations involved in the United 2026 FIFA World Cup hosting bid, will focus on creating new competition to fuel the rivalry between the countries on the field as well as sharing best practices and prioritizing social responsibility efforts.
In the first of the newly created showcase competitions, the leagues will hold an annual Campeones Cup between the champions of each league, building on the growing rivalry between both leagues in the CONCACAF Champions League.
This year's edition will see Toronto FC host either 2017 Apertura champion Tigres UANL or the winner of the current 2018 Clausura Liga MX season at BMO Field on September 19.
“Major League Soccer is proud to come together with Liga MX for this unprecedented partnership,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a 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.”
Among the components of the initiative, a future MLS All-Star Game presented by Target will feature players in both leagues squaring off in a match long desired by fans throughout North America.
In addition, the annual MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer will include a Liga MX Under-20 club team as the annual opponent, continuing a tradition established in past years.
Social Responsibility Initiatives
The partnership between leagues will include a sharing of best business practices and a collaboration around social responsibility efforts to drive positive social change.
“For Mexican soccer, accepting the invitation to this project is a fantastic opportunity to meet our vital goals with a long-term vision," said Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla in a statement. "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.”