Leagues Cup and Minnesota United today announced kick-off times and broadcast details for the Central 2 Group Stage matches between Club Puebla of LIGA MX and Chicago Fire FC of MLS, with both matches being hosted at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
MNUFC will first play Club Puebla on Sunday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m. CT, with this first Central 2 Group fixture set to be broadcast on MLS Season Pass, UniMas, FS1 and TSN. The next contest against the Chicago Fire has been set for Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. CT. This second match in Central2 Group Stage competition will be broadcast on MLS Season Pass.
- Puebla vs. MNUFC | July 23 – 8:00 p.m. CT | MLS Season Pass, UniMas, FS1 and TSN
- MNUFC vs. Chicago Fire | July 27 – 7:30 p.m. CT | MLS Season Pass
Beginning this year, Major League Soccer and LIGA MX will pause their respective league seasons in the summer and compete in Leagues Cup, an official Concacaf competition to be played across the U.S. and Canada. The inaugural edition will see all 47 clubs (18 from LIGA MX, 29 from MLS) compete in a World Cup-style tournament from July 21 - August 19, 2023. The champion and the second and third-place finishers will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and have an opportunity to earn a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Single-game tickets for all Leagues Cup group stage games at Allianz Field are now on sale at SeatGeek.com.
Advancing teams will compete in the single-game elimination Knockout Rounds, beginning with the Round of 32 on August 2-4 (16 matches), followed by the Round of 16 on August 6-8 (eight matches). The eight advancing teams will compete in the Quarterfinals from August 11-12 (four matches) before the two Semifinal matches on August 15.
The Leagues Cup 2023 Final and third-place game will be played on Saturday, August 19 and determine the three clubs that will qualify for the 2024 Concacaf Champions League.
MNUFC is set to face Club Puebla, the LIGA MX representative in its group stage contests. Puebla, nicknamed “La Franja” (“The Striped Ones”), finished eighth in 2022 Liga MX Apertura standings with a 4-10-3 (W-L-D) record and 22 points. Puebla defeated Guadalajara 1(5) – 1(4) in a penalty-kick shootout during the play-in game of the 2022 Apertura Playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals. La Franja then lost in the quarterfinals to Club America on an 11-2 aggregate. Since the founding of the club in 1944, Puebla has won a number of trophies, including two Primera Division (now LIGA MX) titles in the 1982-83 and 1989-90 campaigns, five Copa MX titles, one Campeon de Campeones title (Apertura vs Clausura winners) in 1990, one SuperCopa MX title (Apertura vs Clausura winners) in 2015, one Concacaf Champions’ Cup (now Concacaf Champions League) in 1991 and two Ascenso MX titles in 1970 and 2006-07. This will be the first-ever matchup between Minnesota United and Puebla.
The Loons are also set to face the Chicago Fire, an Eastern Conference side in MLS. Founded in 1997, the Fire have competed in the league for 25 years with storied success. In its first season in 1998, the club notably won both MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. Chicago has since won the U.S. Open Cup in 2000, 2003 and 2006 while securing an MLS Supporters’ Shield title in 2003. MNUFC currently holds a 3-2-1 (W-L-D) record against Chicago in regular-season matches all-time.
The complete Leagues Cup 2023 schedule along with broadcast network assignments can be found here. The complete details on the Leagues Cup format can be viewed here.