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.