KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City will meet Deportivo Toluca FC for the second consecutive year in the Leagues Cup, which is scheduled for July 26 to Aug. 26.
Sporting KC was drawn into a group with Toluca and the Chicago Fire FC for next summer’s Leagues Cup. The dates and locations for the group-stage games will be released at a later time.
Toluca has won 10 Mexican championships and two CONCACAF titles, while the Fire are led by Swiss superstar midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.
Sporting KC, which is a tier-two club based on the Leagues Cup rankings, lost to Toluca 4-1 in the Round of 32 during the 2023 Leagues Cup.
Last summer was the first edition of the Leagues Cup tournament to feature all 47 teams from MLS and Liga MX, the top level of professional soccer in the U.S. and Mexico, respectively.
All three teams in Sporting KC’s group made the knockout round last summer.
The Fire lost to América in the Round of 32, while Minnesota United FC eliminated Toluca in penalties during the Round of 16.
Shortly after signing Argentinian star midfielder Messi, who makes his Midwest debut April 13 against Sporting KC at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Inter Miami CF knocked off Nashville SC 10-9 in penalty kicks to win last season’s tourney.
The new Leagues Cup tier system ranks the 45 teams that did not win MLS or Liga MX titles last season then breaks them into groups of 15 with one team from each tier drawn into a geographically compact group.
Toluca was ranked No. 9 with Sporting KC ranked No. 22 and the Fire ranked No. 34.
The ranking system is new for 2024, but the rest of the format — advancing the top two teams in the group to the knockout round with games going straight to PKs if tied after regulation — will carry over from last summer.