PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers will host a 2020 Leagues Cup match at Providence Park against a yet to be determined Liga MX team on Tuesday, July 21 or Wednesday, July 22, it was announced today as Major League Soccer and Liga MX unveiled the competition’s full tournament schedule. Leagues Cup, sanctioned by CONCACAF, is an annual competition between clubs from MLS and Liga MX.
“This is a very important tournament for the Timbers and MLS and we look forward to playing host to what will be one of the better sides in Liga MX,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager and president of soccer. “It gives us a tremendous opportunity to play a meaningful match against top-end competition in front of our fans and is the first step towards a deepening MLS relationship with Liga MX.”
The expanded 2020 edition of the competition will feature eight clubs from each league in a single-elimination tournament consisting of three rounds (Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Final). Similar to the 2019 edition, all matches between MLS and Liga MX clubs will be played in the home market of the MLS team. In the event of a same-league matchup in the later stages of the tournament, the inter-MLS games will be hosted at the MLS market of the higher-seeded team. Matches featuring two Liga MX teams, as well as the Leagues Cup Final, will be played in a neutral US-based venue to be announced.
Additionally, the 2020 edition of the tournament will feature a draw to determine the matchups between clubs from both leagues ahead of the Round of 16. MLS and Liga MX teams will be seeded and drawn to ensure the most competitive matches, with a second draw ahead of the Quarterfinals, to guarantee the most amount of interleague play. Seeding for the 2020 MLS Leagues Cup participants is as follows:
MLS 1: Philadelphia Union
MLS 2: Real Salt Lake
MLS 3: Minnesota United FC
MLS 4: LA Galaxy
MLS 5: Toronto FC
MLS 6: D.C. United
MLS 7: Portland Timbers
MLS 8: NY Red Bulls
The seeding order for Liga MX teams is as follows:
LMX 1: Campeón de Campeones Champion
LMX 2: Campeón de Campeones Runner-Up
LMX 3: Copa MX Champion
LMX 4-8: Top ranked Liga MX teams from the combined Apertura 2019 and Clausura 2020 tournaments
Confirmed Liga MX teams will be announced at the conclusion of the current 2020 Clausura tournament in late May, along with details of the draw and competition matters.
The 2020 edition of the competition marks Portland’s inaugural appearance in the Leagues Cup. Portland qualified to the tournament by virtue of being one of the top-four Western Conference teams in the 2019 MLS regular season that is not participating in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League (Seattle Sounders FC, Los Angeles FC, New York City FC, Atlanta United FC) or the 2020 Campeones Cup (Seattle Sounders FC).
Following the conclusion of the Round of 16 matches, the Quarterfinals are slated for Aug. 4-5, and the Semifinals later that month on Aug. 25-26. The 2020 Leagues Cup Final will be played on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
In its second edition, the tournament will be broadcast on the Univision and ESPN family of networks in the United States.