HARRISON, N.J. – MLS Commissioner Don Garber confirmed on Tuesday that the first-ever participation of MLS clubs in the World Football Challenge (WFC) this year will take the place of SuperLiga on the league’s summer calendar between July 14 and Aug. 6.
The primary reason for the shift from SuperLiga, a competition which pitted MLS clubs against their Mexican counterparts? The growth of the CONCACAF Champions League.
“This is a transition,” Garber told MLSsoccer.com at Red Bull Arena, where he attended an All-Star press conference featuring Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson. “SuperLiga was a great tournament which served its purpose during its time.
“CONCACAF got more and more committed to a continental tournament with the Champions League, which we’re very supportive of. It has delivered the value we intended [in SuperLiga] to put our teams against the best competition in this region.”
SuperLiga kicked off in 2007 and saw MLS clubs reach the final every year since its launch. Three of the four title matches went to penalty kicks with the New England Revolution claiming the lone MLS title in 2008.
This year, the Revs will join fellow MLS side Chicago Fire and international super clubs Manchester United and FC Barcelona in the 2011 edition of the WFC, which has seen Major League Soccer and CAA Sports team up as organizers. More MLS and international clubs are expected to add their names to the blockbuster summer competition.
“This summer tour will provide our fans with a different value,” Garber said, in reference to comparisons with SuperLiga. “In many ways [the WFC] is additive as opposed to a replacement.
"Years and years ago, these clubs came to play against themselves and they came and played one-off games against our clubs. Now we’re trying to wrap it all in a nice bundle and make it more compelling and interesting and provide more value for our fans and something we believe will be more exciting.”