While the calendar reads March, we’re still waiting patiently for the new MLS schedule to drop for the upcoming season. After a pandemic caused chaos to the 2020 season a year ago, MLS is expected to have a very busy year with loads of international dates for the national teams, an abridged US Open Cup beginning in May, and the second installment of the Leagues Cup with Liga MX teams this summer.
The Athletic is reporting that the league has already knows which eight MLS sides would participate in this year’s League’s Cup and FC Dallas is apparently not one of them given that they were not one of the top four Western Conference teams to not earn a spot in the Concacaf Champins League.
2021 is also slated to bring the second installment of the Leagues Cup, which will involve eight clubs each from MLS and Liga MX. It’s not exactly clear when the competition will be held, but sources were clear that it is expected to move forward as planned. Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City, Seattle Sounders, New York City FC, Minnesota United, the Colorado Rapids and the New York Red Bulls qualified from MLS. The only confirmed Liga MX qualifier is Club León.
Assuming it follows a format similar to what was expected for last year, the tournament would consist of four rounds of single-elimination play with at least the Round of 16 played at MLS home sites and every round likely played in the United States. The 2020 edition was planned to start in mid-July and end on September 16.
Again, details are not final yet on this tournament and knowing MLS, it could easily change.
I know looking at last year’s standings was a little confusing considering how the league opted to go with points-per-game towards the end of the year as a way to rank the teams instead of the usual points-earned model that we’re all used to. Colorado edged out FC Dallas on the PPG despite playing four fewer games thanks to a COVID outbreak in their locker room. Had it been the other way around, FC Dallas would have taken the fourth and final slot from the Western Conference teams.
Are you disappointed that FC Dallas won’t be involved in the League’s Cup? Or do you think this could play into their advantage by not having an extra set of games to deal with?