Major League Soccer has announced that the first-ever All-Star Game pitting the best of MLS against the best of La Liga MX will take place on Wednesday, August 25 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled to be played last summer, but the event has been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous editions of the All-Star Game have seen the MLS All-Stars take on international clubs like Manchester United, or the more traditional East vs. West or US vs. World formats seen with other American sports.
Seeking to capitalize on the intense soccer rivalry between the United States and Mexico, echoed in the recent Nations League final, MLS and Liga MX have teamed up in recent years to create new competitions involving clubs from both leagues: the annual Campeones Cup is a matchup of the champion from each league and the Leagues Cup competition is a knockout tournament featuring multiple MLS and Liga MX clubs.
MLS and Liga MX clubs are already competing in the CONCACAF Champions League for the title of best team in the region. Liga MX teams have dominated this competition and there will be three representatives in this year’s semi-final which takes place in October. The Philadelphia Union is the other semi-finalist, hailing from MLS.
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In recent years, several well-known Mexican players have made MLS their home, adding to the momentum between the two leagues. Carlos Vela (LAFC) and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (LA Galaxy) both play in Southern California and are expected to be elected to the MLS team, barring injury.
No details have been released on how the All-Stars would be selected for each league. LAFC manager Bob Bradley will be the head coach of the MLS team.
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The 2021 All-Star Game will be televised on FS1 and Univision in the United States, on TSN and TVA Sports in Canada and in more than 190 countries and territories around the world. Tickets will go on sale to the public from July 14.
The last All-Star game of 2019 was a 3-0 victory for current La Liga champions Atletico Madrid in Orlando. The last game played in Southern California was in 2003 when the MLS All-Stars defeated Mexican giants Chivas Guadalajara 3-1 in what is now called Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy.