RSL Hosts Tigres on July 24 in First Match of New Eight-Team Tournament Between MLS and Liga MX
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, May 29, 2019) – In coordination with Major League Soccer and Liga MX, Real Salt Lake announced on Wednesday that the club will take part in the 2019 Leagues Cup – an international competition between top-tier clubs in the U.S. and Mexico. Real Salt Lake will face perennial Mexican power and reigning Liga MX champions Tigres UANL in the quarterfinal round on July 24 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Tickets to the match can be purchased on June 6, with Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Members having a presale opportunity beginning on Thursday, May 30, and running through Monday, June 3. Additional presale opportunities will be on June 4-5 for Utah Royals FC Season Ticket Members and those with RSL Half-Season Tickets and Mini-Packs, as well as group buyers.
“It’s always great to play international competitions to compare yourself to other leagues,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke said. “Obviously there is a US-Mexico soccer rivalry that really centers around the national teams, but also in CONCACAF Champions League. This is just another addition to it that could be a huge thing and it’s something that we are taking extremely seriously.”
Real Salt Lake will be joined by the Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy from MLS and Cruz Azul, Club America and Tijuana from Liga MX in the inaugural tournament.
This match will mark the fourth ever meeting between RSL and Tigres, with two prior meetings coming in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals and one coming in a 2008 friendly. RSL is 1-1-1 all-time against Tigres, winning 1-0 in the 2008 friendly, falling 2-0 at Estadio Universitario in the first leg of the quarterfinals in 2016 and drawing 1-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in the second leg that same year.
“Playing against Tigres is a big opportunity for this club – a big opportunity for this team, especially when you have a chance to win a trophy. We’re looking forward to it,” Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando said. “This is another chance for us to step up against these big opponents down in Mexico and prove that we can play with them and maybe one day win a championship against them.”
Real Salt Lake – the 2009 MLS Cup champions and a finalist in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League – is currently sixth in the Western Conference at 6-6-1 (19 points). Along with longtime stars for RSL and the U.S. National Team Rimando and MF Kyle Beckerman, the roster features 12 products of the Real Salt Lake Academy, including FW Corey Baird, DF Justen Glad, DF Aaron Herrera, DF/FW Brooks Lennon and FW Sebastian Saucedo, who all represented the U.S. at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In addition, international standouts MF Albert Rusnák, FW Jefferson Savarino, FW Sam Johnson and MF Damir Kreilach highlight a balanced and youthful roster.
Tigres UANL is a familiar foe, not only because of the Champions League meeting three years ago, but also because its roster features Real Salt Lake Academy products DF Carlos Salcedo and GK Lalo Fernandez. Other notable players from the 2018-19 squad includes French FW Andre-Pierre Gignac, Ecuadorian FW Enner Valencia along with six players who have featured recently for the Mexican National Team – Salcedo and DF Luis Rodriguez, who are both on Mexico’s preliminary roster for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and DF Hugo Ayala, MF Javier Aquino, MF Jesus Dueñas and MF Jurgen Damm.
The 2019 edition of Leagues Cup will feature four clubs from each league in an eight-team single-elimination tournament that launches with quarterfinals on July 23 and 24 at the stadiums of the MLS clubs. The semifinals will be August 20 at venues to be determined based on quarterfinal results. The Leagues Cup final will be held on Wednesday, September 18 at a U.S. venue to be announced.
- MLS and Liga MX Player & Manager reaction video soundbytes can be found here, including Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Miguel Herrera (Club America), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres)
- Leagues Cup tournament schedule bracket can be downloaded here.
- Leagues Cup logo can be downloaded here.
- Leagues Cup hype video can be viewed here.
For 2020 and beyond, MLS and Liga MX will explore the option to expand Leagues Cup to encompass more participating teams. While sporting criteria will determine participants for both leagues in future editions of Leagues Cup , for the inaugural 2019 edition, the four Liga MX clubs were selected based on results in recent competitions, while the four MLS club participants were invited to compete. All clubs have won domestic titles.
- Chicago Fire – MLS Cup and four-time U.S. Open Cup champions;
- Houston Dynamo – Two-time MLS Cup champions and reigning U.S. Open Cup champion;
- LA Galaxy – Five-time MLS Cup champion and two-time U.S. Open Cup champion;
- Real Salt Lake – MLS Cup champion.
Liga MX Clubs:
- Club America – 13-time Liga MX champion and six-time Copa MX champion;
- Cruz Azul – Eight-time Liga MX champion and four-time Copa MX champion;
- Tigres UANL – Three-time Copa MX champion, reigning Campeones Cup and seven-time reigning Liga MX champion;
- Club Tijuana – Liga MX champion.
The tournament has been sanctioned CONCACAF.
“CONCACAF is committed to continuing the development of competitions that will further unite the Confederation and provide more opportunities to develop players and connect passionate fans across our region,” said CONCACAF President, Victor Montagliani. “Alongside our own expanded regional club competitions, which includes the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, the Leagues Cup organized by Liga MX and MLS further strengthens our sport in our Confederation and is a precursor for future collaboration between CONCACAF, Liga MX, MLS and other key stakeholders.”
Tickets to the general public to Leagues Cup will be available starting Thursday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. local time by visiting www.LeaguesCup.com. Fans can sign-up to receive additional information including presale access at LeaguesCup.com.
“We are excited to take our partnership with Liga MX to the next level with Leagues Cup,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We have an intense rivalry between our national teams, and Leagues Cup provides a terrific opportunity to increase the growing rivalry between MLS and Liga MX clubs.”
Enrique Bonilla, Liga MX Executive President, said: “The rivalry between Liga MX and MLS clubs as well as the sporting level of both competitions grows constantly. We are aware that there are a great number of fans around the region who follow the leagues and we believe that Leagues Cup will allow us to bring Liga MX and that great fanbase closer together, while fortifying our sport in the region, which is already the most important in the continent in regards to infrastructure, media impact and the quality of the competition. This great event will mark a new start in this relationship moving forward, with a long-term vision.”
Leagues Cup brand and logo were also unveiled, representing how the game unites fans, while promoting the union of the three countries and inspiring a ferocious sporting rivalry between the two Leagues.
Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the preeminent soccer enterprise in North America, will operate and commercialize Leagues Cup.
Leagues Cup™ 2019 Schedule
(All Times Eastern) / * Subject to change
Tuesday, July 23
Chicago Fire vs. Cruz Azul (SeatGeek Stadium – Bridgeview, IL) 8:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana (Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, Calif.) 11:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24
Houston Dynamo vs. Club America (BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston, TX) 8:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Tigres UANL (Rio Tinto Stadium – Salt Lake City, UT) 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 20
Semifinal 1 *
Semifinal 2 *
Wednesday, September 18
* Leagues Cup Semifinals:
- If a Semifinal is MLS club vs. MLS club, BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston and Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles have been pre-determined to host the semifinals on its respective side of the bracket
- If a Semifinal is Liga MX club vs. Liga MX club, BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston and Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles have been pre-determined to host the semifinals on its respective side of the bracket
- If a Semifinal is MLS club vs. Liga MX club, the MLS team will host the Semifinal game