Los Angeles FC star winger Carlos Vela has spoken out against the Leagues Cup, saying that it unfairly targets Liga MX teams.

The United States and Canada play host each year to the Leagues Cup, a North American soccer tournament including teams from Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Four clubs from each division participated in the first season, which began in July 2019.

The first event was an American-hosted, single-elimination tournament that concluded on September 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. With the addition of all MLS and Liga MX teams in 2023, the event became a regional cup for those leagues. The top three clubs in the Leagues Cup qualify for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and the winner receives a first-round bye.

Messi’s presence boosted interest in Leagues Cup

The Leagues Cup has received a lot of media interest in its first expanded year because of Lionel Messi, the new star of Inter Miami. Because the United States will host the tournament, the Mexican teams must travel for each match.

Carlos Vela thinks Mexico should also host Leagues Cup games

Following their 2022 MLS Cup triumph, LAFC earned a bye into the round of 32. However, Vela is unhappy that none of the games will be played in Mexico or anywhere else in Liga MX. All of them will take place in the United States.

“For me, the fairest thing is to have matches in Mexico as well. Liga MX clubs are at a disadvantage because they play away from home and always play away games. We should be able to enjoy all three countries. There are teams from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

“Ideally, matches would be played in all three countries. There shouldn’t be as much of an advantage for the home team. This will be the first edition. It should evolve over the years. They’ll find the right formula to make it enjoyable for all parties,” Vela told The Athletic.