Major League Soccer announced that the first All-Star Game that pits the best of MLS against the best of Liga MX will take place on Wednesday, August 25 at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled to be played last summer, but the event was postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous editions of the All-Star Game have seen the MLS All-Stars take on international clubs like Manchester United, or the more traditional East vs. West or US vs. World formats seen with other American sports.
Seeking to take advantage of the intense soccer rivalry that exists between the US and Mexico, repeated in the recent Nations League final, MLS and Liga MX have partnered in recent years to create new competitions involving clubs from both. leagues: The annual Champions Cup is a showdown of the champion of each league and the League Cup competition is a knockout tournament with several clubs from MLS and Liga MX.
The MLS and Liga MX clubs already face off in the CONCACAF Champions League for the title of the best team in the region. Liga MX teams have dominated that competition and there will be three representatives in this year’s semifinal that will take place in October. The Philadelphia Union is the only other semi-finalist from the MLS.
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In recent years, several prominent Mexican players have called MLS home, adding to the dynamic between the two leagues. Carlos Vela (LAFC) and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (LA Galaxy) play in Southern California and are expected to be voted into the MLS team, barring injury.
No details were released on how the All-Stars would be selected for each league. LAFC manager Bob Bradley will serve as the head coach of the MLS team.
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The 2021 All-Star Game will be televised on FS1 and Univision in the US, on TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, and in more than 190 countries and territories around the world. Tickets will go on sale to the public starting July 14.
The last All-Star Game in 2019 was a 3-0 win for reigning La Liga champions Atlético de Madrid in Orlando. The last one played in Southern California was in 2003 when the MLS All-Stars beat Mexican giant Chivas Guadalajara 3-1 in what is now called Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy.