ORLANDO, Fla. (July 7, 2021) — Major League Soccer (MLS) and LIGA MX announced today the participants and schedule for the 2021 Leagues Cup, the official annual single-elimination tournament that will again feature clubs from MLS and Mexico’s top-flight leagues, building on the rivalry between both leagues and offering intense, high-level international competition for clubs and fans alike across North America.
Orlando City is set to host Santos Laguna at Exploria Stadium on Thursday, August 12. That match is set to kick off at 7 p.m. ET and be nationally televised on TUDN and ESPN+. After finishing the 2020 MLS regular season with 1.78 points per game,the Lions will serve as one of Major League Soccer’s four qualified teams alongside Sporting Kansas City, Seattle Sounders FC and New York City FC.
Tickets to Leagues Cup matches are available via host clubs and by visiting www.LeaguesCup.com. Orlando City Season Ticket Members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to Leagues Cup matches and are urged to contact their member services representative for Leagues Cup ticket opportunities. Fans are also encouraged to sign up for the latest information here.
The qualified LIGA MX teams for this year’s tournament, in addition to Santos Laguna, are Tigres UANL, UNAM Pumas and Club León. They will join the four qualified MLS clubs.
- Click here for the 2021 Leagues Cup bracket / schedule
The 2021 edition of Leagues Cup will feature four clubs from each league in a single-elimination format. LIGA MX teams joining the 2021 edition of the competition are the top four teams from the overall standings from the 2020-2021 Liga MX season that are not scheduled to participate in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Should Club León win LIGA MX’s Campeón de Campeones 2020-2021 scheduled for July 18, Chivas would replace León as the next best-ranked club in the combined standings, and León would then participate in the 2021 Campeones Cup.
Similarly, the participating MLS teams are the top two teams from each conference based on the 2020 MLS regular season standing not scheduled to participate in the 2021 Scotiabank Champions League. By this criteria, the participating MLS clubs in Leagues Cup are Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City SC, Seattle Sounders FC, and New York City FC. As was announced in March of this year, the MLS clubs will host the opening Quarterfinal matches of the tournament.
The tournament, to be played in its entirety in the U.S., is scheduled to begin August 10-12 with Quarterfinal matches. The Semifinals are slated for September 14-15, and further details including venues and kick times will be announced following the quarterfinals. The Leagues Cup Final, to be played in a neutral venue and announced in the coming weeks, is scheduled for September 22. The full Leagues Cup 2021 schedule is below.
Leagues Cup, sponsored by BODYARMOR, MGM Resorts International and Procter & Gamble, will be broadcast on Univision and ESPN networks and digital platforms in the United States, TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, and Televisa and TUDN platforms in Mexico.
Beyond the rivalry, Leagues Cup has taken on an increased focus for both MLS and LIGA MX clubs. Concacaf recently announced that Leagues Cup will have a qualifying slot to the Concacaf Champions League, starting with the new format in 2023, positioning Leagues Cup as an important part of the North American soccer landscape.
Leagues Cup 2021 kicks off five weeks of MLS vs. Liga MX matchups in August and September, with the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 25 and closed out by Campeones Cup the last week of September.
Leagues Cup™ 2021 Schedule
All Times Eastern / * Subject to change
Tuesday, August 10
QF4: Sporting Kansas City vs. Club León (Children’s Mercy Park – Kansas City, KS), 8:00 p.m. (TUDN, ESPN2)
QF3: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Tigres UANL (Lumen Field – Seattle, WA), 10:00 p.m. (TUDN, ESPN2)
Wednesday, August 11
QF2: New York City FC vs. Pumas (Yankee Stadium– New York, NY), 8:00 p.m. (TUDN, ESPN+)
Thursday, August 12
QF1: Orlando City SC vs. Santos Laguna (Exploria Stadium – Orlando, FL), 7:00 p.m. (TUDN, ESPN+)
September 14 and 15
SF1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF3
SF2: Winner QF2 vs Winner QF4
Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup are part of a larger partnership between the two most important soccer leagues in North America, MLS and LIGA MX, launched in 2018. The partnership is rooted not only in the on-field rivalry, designed to strengthen the sport in the region, but by a true spirit of collaboration off it, with a focus on sharing best practices and on being a force for positive change in the local communities of both leagues.