Leagues Cup groups for MLS and LIGA MX teams announced
Leagues Cup 2024 groups are locked in, with 47 clubs – 18 from LIGA MX and 29 from MLS – returning to the month-long, World Cup-style tournament this summer. The winner is crowned champion, while the top three finishers qualify for the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup. This edition will unfold from July 26 to August 25, pausing domestic league competition as games are played across the United States and Canada. Inter Miami CF enter as defending champions after their Lionel Messi-inspired run during the expanded 2023 tournament. See the full draw here.
LAFC sign Colombian forward Ángel
LAFC have signed Colombian youth international striker Tomás Ángel through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. The 20-year-old arrives on a free transfer after last playing for Atlético Nacional. He tallied 8g/2a in 52 matches across all competitions for the Colombian top-flight side. Ángel was a key player for Colombia at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, scoring five goals in 14 overall U-20 appearances. He is the son of legendary New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Ángel.
LAFC sign defender Campos from Santos Laguna
LAFC have acquired left back Omar Campos from Liga MX side Santos Laguna. The 21-year-old Mexican international defender is under contract through 2027 with an option for 2028. He will occupy a U22 Initiative roster spot. Campos tallied 114 appearances for Santos.
CF Montréal sign Uruguayan striker Cóccaro
CF Montréal have acquired striker Matías Cóccaro from Argentine top-flight side Huracán. The 26-year-old former Uruguay youth international is under contract through the 2026 MLS season with options for 2027-28. His deal uses Targeted Allocated Money (TAM).
St. Louis CITY sign Carnell to contract extension
Fresh off a record-breaking expansion season, St. Louis CITY SC have signed head coach Bradley Carnell to a contract extension. Carnell was a 2023 Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year finalist after guiding the club to a first-place finish in the Western Conference during their inaugural season.
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All of the Leagues Cup groups will be watchable. Some are going to be more watchable than others.
- East 4: Philadelphia Union, Charlotte FC, Cruz Azul
- East 5: New England Revolution, Nashville SC, Mazatlán FC
- East 6: Pachuca, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC
- West 3: St. Louis CITY SC, FC Dallas, FC Juárez
- West 4: Toluca FC, Sporting Kansas City, Chicago Fire FC
- West 6: Seattle Sounders FC, Minnesota United FC, Club Necaxa
We don’t have any true idea of what these teams will look like a few months from now, but if last year’s results are any indication, an MLS team will be heavily favored to win each of these groups. Last year’s tournament seemed to confirm a lot about what we already thought of the differences between MLS and Liga MX. The floor is higher in MLS while the gap between top teams appears to be getting a little smaller. Or maybe we just learned that road games are hard; it’s not entirely clear after one year.
Liga MX put up a better group stage record than MLS, but removing some of their heavyweights (Monterrey, Tigres, Club América, Club León), the record was more even. Then in the knockout stage, MLS took the edge, capturing the tournament’s top three spots and subsequent Concacaf Champions Cup bids. There’s not a stark difference here by any measure, and I think it’s safe to lean towards top-tier teams like Philadelphia being able to handle a Cruz Azul side that finished 16th in the most recent Apertura, even if it is Cruz Azul. At least for now.
- East 7: Atlanta United, Santos Laguna, D.C. United
- East 2: Orlando City SC, Atlético de San Luis, CF Montréal
Atlanta and Orlando might head into this one slightly favored, but Santos and San Luis were both totally fine in the most recent Apertura and should be up for a fight.
- West 8: Houston Dynamo FC, Real Salt Lake, Atlas FC
- East 1: FC Cincinnati, New York City FC, Querétaro FC
- West 7: LAFC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Club Tijuana
These three are all about the MLS matchups. Houston and RSL could be a matchup of two of the West’s best and most entertaining sides. Cincy and NYCFC could be an excellent matchup if NYCFC return to the kind of form we’ve come to expect. And LAFC and Vancouver seem like as sure a bet as any to fight for a top-four spot in the West this year. That doesn’t really mean all that much when you consider nothing is a sure thing in the West, but it does sound good right now.
- West 5: Club León, Portland Timbers, Colorado Rapids
The reigning Concacaf Champions Cup (AKA FKA CCL) winners might have their hands full if Portland and Colorado take a jump forward this year. It could happen under a new manager and a refreshed roster. Of course, Portland still have to actually refresh the roster. We’re still waiting on a couple of new DPs.
- West 1: CF Monterrey, Pumas UNAM, Austin FC
This is Austin’s punishment for their performance in continental competitions last year. But we get to watch Monterrey and Pumas go at it, and maybe Austin can pull off something remarkable. Maybe they play better against better competition?
- West 2: Chivas de Guadalajara, San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy
Chicharito and Cade Cowell will both have homecoming appearances in this one. That’s enough to make this interesting, but it wouldn’t be that surprising to see the Quakes and Galaxy put together solid seasons this year. They could be up for it against a solid Chivas side.
- East 3: Tigres UANL, Puebla, Inter Miami CF
Yeah, there’s a clear number one here. Getting Messi and Co. versus Tigres is a gift. But don’t count out Puebla. They finished sixth in the most recent Apertura and only five points behind Tigres. They might still be a good enough side to make all three games in this group highly entertaining. We at least know one will be.
Inter Miami transfer Stefanelli to Hungarian club: Inter Miami CF have transferred forward Nicolás Stefanelli to Hungarian top-flight side Fehervar FC. The 29-year-old Argentine departs after one season with Inter Miami, tallying 2g/1a in 25 league matches upon joining from Sweden's AIK.
Philadelphia Union sign goalkeeper Semmle: The Philadelphia Union have acquired goalkeeper Oliver Semmle from USL Championship side Louisville City FC. He is under contract through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026.
Good luck out there. Don’t wait for it to bounce.