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What to know ahead of the first NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup

The NWSL and Liga MX Femenil are partnering for the first tournament during the Olympic window, here’s what to know ahead of kickoff

When National Women’s Soccer League chief sporting director Tatjana Haenni stepped into her role in August 2022, one of the first orders of business was to re-evaluate the schedule.

She started with the NWSL Challenge Cup, which was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It began as a preseason competition and then was integrated into the regular season slate for 2023. Now, the Challenge Cup has been adjusted to a single-match “supercup” of the reigning NWSL Champions against the previous season’s NWSL Shield winners.

Haenni also began developing new ideas for a way to begin a partnership with the Mexican Football Federation’s top women’s league, Liga MX Femenil. Those conversations turned into the NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup, which was announced this May.

The Summer Cup is set to debut this July featuring five groups of four teams with a mix of both NWSL and Liga MX Femenil clubs. With 33 total games, it will allow for each club to compete in three matches. Although there are no quarterfinals scheduled, there will be five group winners and the four clubs with the most points will advance to the semifinals.

Creating a new tournament jointly with another league during the 2024 Olympic window was a new approach for the NWSL. But with Haenni at the helm, they were able to secure stadium availabilities, a month-long tournament schedule and all of the legal matters that come with organizing a large multinational event to create the first-ever NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup.

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