NWSL and Liga MX Femenil announce new Summer Cup starting this year

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The NWSL will spend its break during the 2024 Olympics playing a tournament with teams from Mexico’s Liga MX Femenil, the leagues announced today.

The NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup will feature all 14 NWSL clubs and six Liga MX Femenil teams with the highest points earned in the 2023 Apertura and Clausura tournaments.

It will feature a group stage commencing on July 19 with a semifinal round ending the week of Aug. 4. The championship match will take place on the weekend of Oct. 25.

The tournament will feature five groups, with the top four teams in terms of points advancing to the semifinals.

How does this impact the NWSL schedule?

Analysis by Meg Linehan

We always knew the NWSL was planning a summer tournament to overlap with this summer’s Olympic Games, and while the league deserves credit for tapping crossover appeal with Liga MX Femenil, the Summer Cup definitely feels like the 1.0 version of a standalone summer tournament.

To be fair, this has been in the works before CONCACAF announced its new qualifiers for the first FIFA Club World Cup, but three NWSL teams are about to have to pull double duty between the two competitions. Was fixture congestion also to blame for the fact there are five groups yet only four teams advance? Or that the final of this new event will take place long after the “Summer” of “Summer Cup” has ended, in October?

On the bright side, this is a real chance for the NWSL to meaningfully tap into a new fanbase — and hopefully will mean more Spanish language programming and content that will stick around the entire year, not just during the Summer Cup.

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(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

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