MLS All-Stars ‘to face Liga MX players in 2020’

MLS All Stars faced LaLiga side Atletico Madrid in the 2019 MLS All Star Game in Orlando, Florida (Credit: Getty Images)

Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game will reportedly switch its format next year, with the league’s leading players facing their counterparts from Mexico’s Liga MX at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on July 29, 2020.

Since 2005, MLS All-Stars have faced top European teams in the showpiece game, most recently LaLiga giants Atletico Madrid at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium in 2019.

But now, for the first time, Liga MX’s top players will form the opposition, according to the Los Angeles Times. A formal announcement is expected at a press conference at Banc of California Stadium on November 20.

It is hoped that Mexican opposition will revive interest in the All-Star Game, which this year gained a TV audience of just 182,000 viewers on the English-language broadcast on cable network FS1. However, the simultaneous audience of 626,000 on the Spanish-language UniMas and TUDN showed the benefits of appealing to a Hispanic and Latino fanbase.

The initiative will also cement deepening ties between MLS and Liga MX, which has so far included the Campeones Cup and the Leagues Cup competitions. The US, Mexico and Canada will also jointly host the Fifa World Cup in 2026.

There is even the long-term prospect of a joint MLS-Liga MX league. “Everything is possible in this world,” Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla said in September.