MLS to meet Mexican league counterparts in All-Star Game

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Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley watches from the sideline during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Seattle. The Sounders won 2-0. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Major League Soccer’s All-Stars will meet their top Mexican league counterparts in Los Angeles on Aug. 25 in a game that was originally scheduled to take place last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The game against Liga MX players at Banc of California Stadium, home of Los Angeles FC of the MLS, represents a departure from the format for the past 15 All-Star games that had the best players in MLS facing European clubs. Los Angeles is a fitting location for the game — not only does it have one of the largest Latino populations in the world but it is a battleground for both leagues.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Liga MX Executive President Mikel Arriola were in LA on Wednesday to announce the game, which was originally scheduled to take place last July 29 and coincide with MLS’s 25th season until the pandemic curtailed those plans.

The match will be broadcast in the U.S. on Fox Sports 1 and Univision and on ESPN throughout Mexico and Latin America.

This will be the second MLS All-Star Game in the Los Angeles area following a 3-1 win by the league’s All-Stars over Chivas in 2003 at the home of the LA Galaxy in Carson. The All-Star Game switched to an East vs. West format in 2004, then the following year to MLS playing a European club preparing for the start of its season.

Liga MX holds its Campeón de Campeones, matching the winners of its Apertura and Clausura split-season tournaments, and Supercopa MX in Carson as well as holding its season-ending awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

The All-Star Game should be a showcase for players from both leagues. LA Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez leads MLS with seven goals.

LAFC manager Bob Bradley will coach the MLS squad.

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