There will be no post-World Cup blues for fans in the USA this time around.
One of the most hotly contested tournaments held in the USA will kick off just three days after the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The fourth edition of SuperLiga, a tournament pitting top Mexican and MLS clubs for one of the largest purses in the region, starts on Wednesday, July 14.
Major League Soccer and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (FMF) released the groups and first round schedule on Thursday.
The 2010 edition of SuperLiga will feature the top four MLS teams from last season that are not competing in the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League: the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution.
The top Mexican clubs by virtue of combined points from the 2009 Apertura and 2009 Clausura seasons were invited to participate as long as they were not qualified to the CONCACAF Champions League: CONCACAF champions Pachuca, Mexican league semifinalists Morelia, up-and-comers Puebla and one of Mexico’s legendary clubs UNAM Pumas.
Group A: Chivas USA (USA), Houston Dynamo (USA), Pachuca (MEX), Puebla (MEX)
Group B: Chicago Fire (USA), Morelia (MEX), New England Revolution (USA), UNAM Pumas (MEX)
In Group A, the Dynamo and Pachuca will reengage in arguably the best rivalry between clubs from the USA and Mexico. Pachuca’s American World Cup players, Herculez Gomez and José Francisco Torres, will return to the USA to face MLS clubs. Puebla’s Carlos Ruiz, who scored the first ever goal at the Home Depot Center, returns to LA to face Chivas USA.
The Group B match-ups are highlighted by the game between two partner clubs in the Chicago Fire and Monarcas Morelia. Also, ex-Chivas USA star Francisco Palencia leads UNAM Pumas into the competition for the first time ever.
The group stage will play out in the span of seven days (July 14 – July 21) and all matches will be broadcast by the Univisión network (TV) and ESPN Deportes (radio).
MLS teams will be seeking to even the SuperLiga record against their Mexican rivals. All three finals in the tournament’s history have been decided on PKs with Mexico claiming two of the three titles.
Wednesday, July 14
New England Revolution vs. Pumas UNAM (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.) - 8 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. Monarcas Morelia (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) - 9:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 15
Houston Dynamo vs. Pachuca (Robertson Stadium – Houston) - 8 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. Puebla (the Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.) - 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, July 17
Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) - 7 p.m. ET
Monarcas Morelia vs. Pumas UNAM (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) - 9:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, July 18
Houston Dynamo vs. Chivas USA (Robertson Stadium – Houston) - 8 p.m. ET
Pachuca vs. Puebla (Robertson Stadium – Houston) - 10:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 20
New England Revolution vs. Monarcas Morelia (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.) - 8 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. Pumas UNAM (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) - 9:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 21
Houston Dynamo vs. Puebla (Robertson Stadium – Houston) - 8 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. Pachuca (The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.) - 10:30 p.m. ET