Shortly after SoFi Stadium was to open its doors for the first time in summer 2020, Real Madrid was scheduled to play Barcelona in a soccer game to help christen the $5-billion venue. But that match was canceled before it was ever announced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two years later MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX are stepping in to bring soccer to SoFi for the first time, with the Galaxy meeting Chivas of Guadalajara and LAFC playing Club América in August. The leagues were expected to formally announce the games jointly from New York and Mexico City on Thursday morning.
“There’s a great history of big soccer matches being played in the United States and in Los Angeles, dating back to the 1994 World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup, and all of the big games that the Galaxy has been a part of,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement. “So having the opportunity to play against a storied franchise in Liga MX is an honor that we are looking forward to.”
LAFC co-President Larry Freedman, who is working with Klein to bring matches for the 2026 World Cup to Los Angeles, echoed those sentiments.
“Los Angeles is showing, yet again, why it is one of the top sports cities in the world, and it is an honor for our club to have the opportunity to compete in this showcase,” he said.
The clubs are four of the most popular in North America and the Aug. 3 doubleheader is being billed as a prelude to the Leagues Cup, an annual tournament featuring all 47 teams in MLS and Liga MX. That competition will kick off in summer 2023.
Although the Galaxy used to share a stadium with Chivas USA, the MLS cousin of the Liga MX club, the Galaxy haven’t played the team from Guadalajara in 15 years. The previous meetings came in the 1997 CONCACAF Cup of Champions in Chicago, in a 1999 friendly at the Rose Bowl and in the 2007 Superliga at the L.A. Coliseum. The Galaxy won the first two meetings, Chivas the last.
Chivas, the second-most-popular team in Mexico, is also the club that gave Galaxy captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández his start. Hernández’s grandfather also played for the team while his father was both a player and coach for Chivas.
LAFC’s only game with Club América — Mexico’s most popular team — came in the semifinals of the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, in an empty stadium in Orlando. LAFC won that game 3-1 behind two goals from Carlos Vela. Club América, with 13 titles, in the most successful team in Liga MX history.
Galaxy and LAFC season-ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase tickets through a presale. The public sale will begin April 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific time via Ticketmaster.
“I’m very happy that Chivas will play in that wonderful stadium. In Los Angeles, we feel at home; it is a rojiblanca city, and that the team can meet its fans in the home of the NFL champions,” said Chivas President Amaury Vergara. “It’s a great stadium, with a great rival and the best fans. What more can we ask for? I’m sure it will be a party.”