When one Timbers fan suggested that the club was lining up mid-season friendlies by participating in the tournament, owner Merritt Paulson was quick to clarify that there was "nothing friendly" about those matches.
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Paulson, who has never shied away from social media engagement, laid out a preview of what we should expect to see from his team in the second-year competition pitting Major League Soccer teams against their Liga MX counterparts.
The field was expanded to 16 teams this year, with the Timbers joining D.C. United, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake who will compete against Liga MX teams that will be determined after the Clausura season.
The field, dates and details were made public and the Timbers are guaranteed to host one of the Round of 16 matches.
Nothing friendly about this. Significant financial stakes for players as is and its a first step to a far more meaningful relationship w LigaMX.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) February 20, 2020
Our guys are extremely pumped about Leagues Cup. And unlike CCL off a 3+ mth offseason its closer to a real measuring stick to MX
In responding to another fan, Paulson also made it clear that the Timbers “will be putting out a good team for Leagues Cup and everyone in the locker room and [organization] is taking it very seriously.”