World Football Challenge Continues To Expand, Club America, Chivas Latest To Be Added

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World Football Challenge: Club America, Chivas De Guadajara To Play Barcelona

Mexican giants Club America and Chivas de Guadalajara are the latest teams to join this summer's World Football Challenge. Chivas will play Spanish super-power Barcelona on Aug. 3 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. America will play Barcelona on Aug. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

America and Chivas are arguably the two biggest clubs in Mexico and among the most decorated. Chivas has won 11 first-division titles -- more than any other team -- in their 105-year history. America has won 10 titles in their 95-year history, the second most in Mexico. Both teams are currently fighting for spots in the Mexican Primera playoffs.

Barcelona will also face Manchester United on July 30 as part of the World Football Challenge, which now includes 10 teams and has announced dates in seven stadiums around the United States and Canada. The series of friendlies was originally announced as some kind of tournament, but no format has been announced.

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SuperLiga Is Dead; Long Live The World Football Challenge ... Or Something Like That

In addition to announcing that Manchester United would be one of the eight teams participating in the revived World Football Challenge, MLS Commissioner Don Garber finally made official what has long been expected: SuperLiga is dead. With MLS teams now participating in the World Football Challenge, as well as CONCACAF Champions League, the MLS-Mexican Primera tournament was deemed unnecessary.

"This is a transition," Garber told MLSsoccer.com at Red Bull Arena, where he attended an All-Star press conference featuring Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson. "SuperLiga was a great tournament which served its purpose during its time.

"CONCACAF got more and more committed to a continental tournament with the Champions League, which we’re very supportive of. It has delivered the value we intended [in SuperLiga] to put our teams against the best competition in this region."

It's doubtful many tears are being shed over the demise of SuperLiga. The tournament never seemed to catch on with MLS fans, despite their teams making the finals all four years, three of which were decided in penalties. After starting off reasonably popular in 2007, attendance dipped each year. Last year's championship game, pitting the New England Revolution against Monarcas Morelia, was played in front of fewer than 10,500 people.

Part of the reason it never caught on was that it always felt manufactured and really seemed more like trumped up friendlies than a real tournament. The qualification process changed each of the first three years, all matches were played at MLS sites and Primera teams were playing in their off-season.

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2011 World Football Challenge To Include International And MLS Teams

With the return of the North American SuperLiga looking more and more unlikely, Major League Soccer announced on Friday that MLS teams will be part of a second edition of the World Football Challenge, a summer friendly tournament that had previously featured Inter Milan, Chelsea, and AC Milan.

The first edition of the Challenge was held in 2009 and included four teams playing six matches over the course of a week in late July. The 2011 Challenge appears to be much more extensive, taking place over three and a half weeks between July 14 and Aug. 6, with a slate of MLS and international teams yet to be announced.

The North American SuperLiga, a summer tournament with MLS and Mexican teams was first played in 2007. It has not been scheduled for 2011 and neither MLS nor any of the clubs that would be involved have made any mention of the competition in their schedules for the current season. The announcement of an expanded World Football Challenge that will include MLS clubs probably means that the competition will take the place of SuperLiga for 2011.

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