Major League Soccer

MLS commissioner Don Garber sees Leagues Cup changes as 'rocket fuel'

Lizzy Becherano
MLS commissioner Don Garber says changes to Leagues Cup is an opportunity for all
MLS commissioner Don Garber says changes to Leagues Cup is an opportunity for all / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
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Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber described the new Leagues Cup format as “rocket fuel” for the competition after announcing that all MLS and Liga MX clubs will participate in the reimagined month-long tournament starting in 2023. 

The competition will take place in the summer, forcing Major League Soccer and Liga MX to pause their domestic calendars. As a reward, the Leagues Cup offers three places up for grabs in an expanded Concacaf Champions League. 

The original version of the tournament had eight teams in it, four from each league. Cruz Azul won the inaugural edition in 2019, and the Seattle Sounders face Club Leon on Wednesday to crown this year’s champion. 

Garber believes the newest format prepares North America for a “transformational opportunity.”

“We need programming, we need partnerships and activities so we don’t just wait for it to come...this tournament [Leagues Cup] will be rocket fuel.” Garber told the media in midtown Manhattan. “The World Cup is a transformational opportunity for our league.” 

Executive president of Liga MX Mikel Arriola shared the excitement by reinforcing the bridge between both leagues. 

“The only rivalry we have is inside the stadiums,” said Arriola. “Outside the stadium, we [Liga MX & MLS] want to grow together.”

FIFA vice president and Concacaf president Victor Montagliani echoed Garber and Arriola’s thoughts, adding that the relationship between Leagues Cup and Concacaf enhances the competition. 

“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” FIFA vice president and Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said. “Leagues Cup is going to enhance Champions League and Champions League will enhance Leagues Cup. Fans are attracted to it, but fans want official competitions. When it’s an official competition, it means more. Making it an official competition and part of our ecosystem has made it even more relevant. That’s the symbiotic relationship: It’s good for us and it’s good for them.”

The changes will be made in 2023 with next year’s tournament using the current format. 


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