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MLS, Liga MX teams to fight for title at Allegiant Stadium

Las Vegas hosted one of the events of the soccer year when the U.S. played Mexico at the 2021 Gold Cup Final on August 1 at Allegiant Stadium. A follow-up, of sorts, will take place in the same location at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The national teams won’t be back. They’re in the midst of World Cup qualifying. But Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders will take on Liga MX’s Club Leon in the final of the second edition of the Leagues Cup.

The event, which pits four MLS teams (from both the U.S. and Canada) against four Liga MX clubs (from Mexico) in a bracket-style tournament, will end in Las Vegas for the second time. Cruz Azul won the first title at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2019.

The initial championship match featured two Liga MX sides, giving this one a different edge.

“I think it’ll be a good opportunity for MLS playing against a Liga MX side for us to showcase what we have,” said Sounders midfielder Danny Leyva, a Las Vegas native. “It’s going to be a strong game, but I think we’re ready. More than ready.”

The Sounders will be looking to add to their already impressive trophy list after winning two MLS championships and making another final in the past five seasons. They’re second in the Western Conference standings at 13-5-6 thanks in large part to diminutive forward Raul Ruidiaz, who ranks second in the league with 14 goals.

Club Leon will be difficult to beat after waltzing through the first two rounds of the tournament with an 8-1 goal differential. It is fourth in the Liga MX standings at 4-2-3. Its goal scoring has been more evenly distributed. Forward Angel Mena has four, midfielder Elias Hernandez three and four other players have scored at least one.

“(They’re) very near the top of the standings,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Got some tremendous players. I think they’ll be up for it.”

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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