Inter Miami begins defense of the Leagues Cup title against Mexican clubs

MIAMI.- He Inter Miami of Lionel Messi will begin its defense of the Leagues Cup title by facing Mexican teams Puebla and Tigres in the group stage, according to the tournament schedule announced this Thursday.

With Messi having just landed in Miami, Inter was proclaimed champion in 2023 of the first edition of this tournament in which the 29 teams of the North American League (MLS) and the 18 of the Mexican League participated.

Messi was the competition’s top scorer with 10 goals in seven games and received the best player award (MVP).

This year, the competition will be held between July 26 and August 25 only on courts in the United States and Canada.

The tournament will take place shortly after the Copa América (June 20 to July 14), which will also be contested across the United States with Messi’s Argentina defending the crown.

Framed in East Group 3, Inter will debut in the Leagues Cup by hosting Puebla on June 27 and then will clash with Tigres at the NRG Stadium in Houston (Texas) on August 3.

Beyond Inter Miami:

In other keys, Guadalajara will face the San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The clash between Chivas and the Galaxy on August 4 will mark the return of forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández to Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, where he played the last four seasons.

As champions of their respective leagues, Columbus Crew and América are exempt from the group stage.

Both teams will start the Leagues Cup in the direct qualifiers, starting with the round of 32 from August 7 to 9.

The tournament offers three tickets to the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup, the gateway to the FIFA Club World Cup.