Dates are officially out for 2020 Leagues Cup, which is heading into its second year of pitting top clubs from Liga MX and Major League Soccer against each other.
This time around, there'll be an expanded field of eight representatives per league. While Monterrey is the only confirmed Mexican side to date, members of inaugural champions Cruz Azul are hoping they'll get a shot at defending last year's title.
For Mexican International Elías Hernández, who participated in the 2-1 win over Tigres UANL in the 2019 final, Leagues Cup was a worthy addition to the club’s trophy case.
“It’s a new tournament for everyone and it was really good for us, facing competition from other leagues is important for us. We’re happy to be the first ones to win it, we gave it the necessary seriousness and won the title”, the 31-year-old winger said.
Hernández added that the level of competition is only improving, given the strides made by MLS clubs in recent years.
“They’ve improved a lot. There are clubs that signed high-quality players in the recent transfer market, which helps the league raise its level. It’s good for Liga MX to have these games against MLS opposition, hopefully the tournament lasts for a long time.”
Yoshimar Yotún, who scored the opening penalty for “La Máquina” in the 2019 final, is just as enthusiastic about rekindling the region’s fiercest rivalry.
“Leagues Cup is an important tournament for us, we’re facing top teams, both from MLS and Liga MX. We faced the Mexican champion in last year’s final, for example.
"It’ll go down in history that Cruz Azul won the first Leagues Cup.”