The competition, which was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will once again be a single-elimination tournament featuring four teams from each league.
The teams from MLS include Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City SC, Seattle Sounders FC, and New York City FC. Those teams comprise the top two from each conference based on the 2020 regular season standings that are not scheduled to participate in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. The Liga MX clubs will be confirmed in May, following the conclusion of the 2020-21 Clausura season.
The leagues also confirmed the return of Campeones Cup, the annual clash of both leagues' champions, for late September, featuring MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew SC.
"We're excited to re-start the Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup competitions in 2021 and continue to build on our partnership with Liga MX," said MLS commissioner Don Garber. "We have seen the great rivalry that exists on the field between MLS and Liga MX clubs, and these events provide a unique opportunity for fans to see their club compete in meaningful international competition while creating enormous interest and attention for both leagues."
Mikel Arriola, Liga MX's executive president said: "The announcement regarding the return of Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup is crucial for the project to internationalize Liga MX. We know that North America has a large number of fans, and over 30% on average of the audience for our league's games comes from the United States, which speaks to the importance of getting closer to our fanbase in the northern region of the continent. I'm sure that with Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup we will enjoy a great show."
The Leagues Cup will be played in its entirety in the U.S., and is scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 9 with quarterfinal matches. The semifinals are slated for the week of September 13, and the Leagues Cup Final, to be played in a neutral venue, is scheduled for the week of September 20.