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NYCFC announce League Cup games

New York City will play Atlas FC at Citi Field and Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena. Also: The club announced two MLS league games will be played at Red Bull Arena.

Atlas FC couldn’t lay a hand on Gabi last year.
Photograph courtesy

The group stage games for the new-look Leagues Cup were announced earlier today, and New York City FC will play both of their matches at “home.”

First, New York City will host Atlas FC in a rematch of last year’s Campeones Cup at Citi Field on Sunday, July 23, at 7 pm ET. Then NYCFC will host Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, July 26, at 7:30 pm.

The Leagues Cup is a tournament that includes all 47 clubs in MLS and LigaMX. Started in 2019, the Leagues Cup was played only twice (the 2020 edition was canceled due to COVID, and the 2022 edition was limited to a few exhibition games due to scheduling congestion), and it’s still trying to establish an identity. Some see it as a preview of a North American SuperLiga that would merge MLS and Liga MX.

This will certainly be the most ambitious version of the tournament yet staged. In 2019, just eight teams participated — four from each league. In 2021, that number was doubled to 16 teams. This year, not only are all 37 clubs included in the tournament, MLS will hit the pause button on league play while the Leagues Cup is being staged — there are no regular season games scheduled for five weeks in July and August.

The Leagues Cup will be broadcast on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, FOX Sports, TelevisaUnivision, TSN, and RDS.

In addition, NYCFC slipped a scheduling announcement into their Leagues Cup press release, and confirmed that the two final MLS league home games previously listed as TBD will be held at Red Bull Arena. Both the Toronto FC game on Saturday, September 23, at 7:30 pm, and the Chicago Fire season finale on Saturday, October 21, at 6 pm ET, will be played in Harrison, NJ.

Don’t tell me you’re surprised.