MLS and Liga MX were slated to enjoy more overlap than ever before in 2020, but that's all changed due to the coronavirus.
MLS announced Tuesday that the All-Star Game vs. a team of Liga MX All-Stars and the Campeones Cup and Leagues Cup competitions have been canceled for this year, with the pandemic wreaking havoc on the sports calendar in North America and across the globe.
The All-Star Game, after 15 years of pitting MLS's best against a European club, was going to instead feature a team of Mexican top-flight stars at LAFC's Banc of California Stadium. Given the added influence of Mexican stars in MLS–specifically Carlos Vela and Chicharito in Los Angeles–the event had all the makings of a spectacle. That's on delay now, with the expectation that the same plans will unfold in 2021 instead.
"MLS and Liga MX will resume discussions regarding the event, and there is every expectation that next year’s All-Star Game will be MLS vs. Liga MX in Los Angeles," MLS wrote in a statement.
As for the other two novel competitions, the Leagues Cup was set to take place for a second year, featuring 16 teams (eight from MLS, eight from Liga MX) after involving just eight (four apiece) in its inaugural year.
The Campeones Cup was set to be contested for the third time, and it features the reigning MLS Cup champion and the winner of a playoff between Liga MX's Clausura and Apertura champions. The 2020 version was going to be held Aug. 12 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field featuring the Sounders and a to-be-determined Mexican opponent, but that's off, and it remains to be seen who will compete in the 2021 edition. Much will depend, surely, on whether MLS and Liga MX are able to complete their respective seasons going forward. Either way, the competition, in addition to the Leagues Cup, will go on.
MLS is still in a holding pattern, with clubs recently beginning to return to limited training capacities. The league is reportedly considering an option that includes bringing all 26 teams to Orlando for an undetermined amount of time, but those plans remain in the works.
There remains the possibility that MLS and Liga MX teams will battle this year in another capacity. The Concacaf Champions League is still on hold, with the competition suspended in the quarterfinal stage.