Leagues Cup introducing draw in expanded edition of second tournament

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The second edition of the Leagues Cup will involve a pair of draws, with organizers looking to maximize matches between Major League Soccer and Liga MX teams in the nascent competition.

The expanded tournament, featuring eight teams from each league after kicking off with four and four last year, will utilize a draw to determine the first-round matchups and will have another draw with the winners of those ties.

Like in the first tournament, won by Cruz Azul, all matches will take place in MLS venues with games between two Mexican teams to take place at neutral sites in the U.S.

The Leagues Cup will kick off with a round of 16 with matches taking place July 21 and 22. The quarterfinals will played on August 4 and 5 with the semifinals taking place on the 25 and 26th of that month and the final occurring on September 16.

"Our close collaboration with Liga MX continues to grow, and the expanded Leagues Cup will take it to a new level,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a news release.

“When we started our partnership with Liga MX two years ago, we knew that we had the opportunity to create something unique and special for soccer fans. Leagues Cup is a perfect example of how we are working together to grow the sport in North America.”

The Leagues Cup is not the only fruit of the North American leagues' partnership. There also is the annual Campeones Cup match, played between the Campeon de Campeones and the reigning MLS Cup champion.

And, this season, the MLS All-Star Game will feature MLS All-Stars against a squad of All-Stars from Liga MX.

MLS' eight representatives for the 2020 Leagues Cup are set, with the Philadelphia Union, Minnesota United, Toronto FC, D.C. United, the Portland Timbers and the New York Red Bulls making their tournament debuts alongside LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

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The clubs were determined by their regular season finishes, with the best teams not playing Concacaf Champions League included in the competition.

Liga MX will send both teams that participate in the Campeon de Campeones, a match played between the winners of Liga MX's short tournaments, the champion of the Copa MX and the four top-ranked teams based on combined record in the Apertura and Clausura.

Those teams will be finalized and the draw will take place once the Clausura ends in May.