Real Salt Lake To Host Tigres In ‘Leagues Cup’

May 29, 2019, 9:25 AM
Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) celebrates Real Salt Lake's second goal during an MLS ...
Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) celebrates Real Salt Lake's second goal during an MLS game against Atlanta United at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Friday, May 24, 2019. Real Salt Lake won 2-1. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Major League Soccer and Liga MX announced that they will hold an 8-team single elimination tournament with four clubs from the United States and Mexico. Real Salt Lake will host Tigres on July 24 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The two leagues announced that this will be an annual competition between the two top soccer leagues in North America and will debut in July with the support of CONCACAF.

RSL is one of four teams from MLS to participate in the tournament. The other three clubs include the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo.

“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 U.S.-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.”

Liga MX will send Cruz Azul, Xolos and Club America with Tigres to the U.S.

The Dynamo will face Club America in the other quarterfinal on RSL’s side of the bracket. If RSL and Houston both win their first round match, Houston will host Real on August 20. Should just RSL win and Houston doesn’t, Real Salt Lake will host Club America.

“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.”

This match will mark the fourth ever meeting between RSL and Tigres, with two prior meetings taking place during the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals and a 2008 friendly. The club from Sandy, Utah is 1-1-1 all-time against Tigres.

On the other side of the bracket, the Chicago Fire will host Cruz Azul and Xolos will travel to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy.

For 2020 and beyond, the leagues will explore the option of adding more than just four teams from each league.

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