MLS and Premier League hold talks over summer 'Super Cup'

Major League Soccer has held talks with the Premier League about organising a tournament involving American and English teams.

Paul Hirst
by Paul Hirst
10th September 2015

article:10th September 2015

Pushing for change: Garber.
Pushing for change: Garber.

Major League Soccer has held talks with the Premier League about organising a tournament involving American and English teams.

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MLS, now in its 20th year, has experienced a considerable growth in popularity over the last few seasons because of the success of the American national teams and an improved TV deal with worldwide broadcasters.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber believes popularity in football also grows in the States when the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool cross the Atlantic for pre-season tours.

Over the last two years all three clubs have participated in the International Champions Cup but Garber is hoping to create a more formal competition in which the most successful English teams compete.

“We have been talking to the Premier League about doing some sort of official competition as opposed to just having clubs come over to the country on a random basis playing in a tournament that takes place every summer,” Garber said.

The Premier League said general talks had taken place, but the format of any potential tournament had not been discussed.

Garber’s dream is to pit the top teams in America against their foreign counterparts – possibly from England – every summer.

“I would love to find a way that we could play our cup champion and our league champion against an FA Cup and league champion in a tournament and play it in New York City every year,” he said. “If not every year, then every four years.

“This concept of super cups involving MLS, whether it’s one with Mexico or one with some of the other leagues, would be smart. And many years ago they used to take place before MLS was in existence.”

He added: “Overall there is no doubt that there are opportunities for MLS and Premier League to work more closely together on either a tournament or some other type of activity, but that is about as far as it has gone.”

In future years, other major competition winners from across Europe could feature.

“You have calendar issues, but there is no reason why it couldn’t (happen),” Garber said.

English influences on American soccer are nothing new, of course. David Beckham took MLS’ profile to new heights when he signed for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.

Garber hopes the league’s profile will rocket again when Beckham’s Miami franchise comes into existence. Beckham has spent more than a year trying to find a home for his franchise in the Floridian City.

After protests from local residents, Beckham was forced to ditch plans to build a stadium in downtown Miami and has instead opted for a location next to the Miami Marlins baseball stadium.

The MLS commissioner hopes more big names will flock to the US once Beckham’s team is up and running.

“I certainly believe that is what David would do,” he said. “That is what is motivating him to be part of the MLS ownership group. He says players are calling him all the time.”


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