Sporting KC to play in Leagues Cup, matching four clubs each from MLS, LIGA MX

Captain Johnny Russell and Sporting KC will host a LIGA MX opponent the week of Aug. 9 at Children's Mercy Park.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City will compete in the second edition of Leagues Cup this year, a high-level international competition that will feature four Major League Soccer and four LIGA MX teams.

Seattle Sounders FC, Orlando City SC and New York City FC will join Sporting KC in competition against LIGA MX clubs, furthering the growth of a rivalry between the North American leagues. LIGA MX is the top division in Mexican professional soccer.

Leagues Cup, which will be played entirely in the United States, gives Sporting the chance to win an international tournament for the first time. The four MLS participants are the top two regular-season finishers from each conference in 2020 that are not scheduled to compete in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Sporting finished first in the Western Conference last season.

The four LIGA MX teams will be announced in May.

Leagues Cup debuted in 2019 but was not played in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The single-game, single-elimination tournament will feature MLS teams hosting LIGA MX sides in the opening round.

2021 Leagues Cup Schedule

Week of Aug. 9: Quarterfinals (Sporting hosts LIGA MX opponent)
Week of Sept. 13: Semifinals (hosted in the U.S.)
Week of Sept. 20: Final (neutral-site venue in U.S.)