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After the NWSL touted a mysterious tournament to be named later for the Olympic gap in the regular season, they announced a new partnership with LIGA MX Femenil on Wednesday. The two leagues have joined forces to present the first-ever NWSL x LIGA MX Femenil Summer Cup set to begin July 19. Broadcast details, playoff schedule details, and competition rules are set to be clarified at a future date. 

The Summer Cup will feature all 14 NWSL clubs. Six LIGA MX Femenil sides with the most points earned during the Clausura and Apertua in 2023 will participate. Tigres UANL, Club América, Chivas de Guadalajara, Rayadas de Monterrey, Pachuca and Tijuana will all represent the Mexican league. 

"Today's announcement marks a historic milestone for women's soccer in North America and another significant step in the continued elevation of our global game," said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. "We're excited to partner with LIGA MX Femenil to create additional competitive opportunities for our athletes, unlock new rivalries, tap into our collective fanbases and continue our shared mission of raising the value, visibility and global standard of our sport."

With the Paris Games set to begin in July, the league will likely have a significant number of players away for international duty and the regular season schedule will have a break beginning July 7 with play set to continue on August 24. When NWSL initially launched the regular season there was a commitment to provide a tournament for the gap in play. 

The inaugural competition will begin July 19, with a 33-match tournament that consists of 30 group stage contests, followed by a four-team semifinal round slated for the week of August 4. The championship match will take place the weekend of October 25-27. 

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"The alliance we are announcing today is a great achievement for women's football in our region and around the world - two great women's professional football leagues coming together to advance the sport in our area, expand and grow the industry, build a new sporting identity and rivalry, strengthen partnerships beyond the pitch, inspire more people to join the movement, build community and open up new opportunities for players to have new windows of internationalization," said LIGA MX Femenil Director Mariana Gutierrez. "LIGA MX Femenil is proud and privileged to work together with the NWSL. Let us celebrate that this is a historic moment for women and sport." 

Here's what we know about the competition rules so far:

Group Format

To place an extra twist in the competition format. There will be five groups of four teams but only four winners with the highest earned points will advance to the semifinals. So there's a scenario where teams will win their group and not make the knockout rounds. 

So let's get Concacaf and take a look at the five groups:

Group A

  • Portland Thorns FC

  • Seattle Reign FC

  • Utah Royals FC

  • Tijuana

Group B

  • Angel City FC

  • San Diego Wave FC

  • Bay FC

  • Club América

Group C

  • Kansas City Current

  • Houston Dash

  • Tigres UANL

  • Pachuca

Group D

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC

  • Washington Spirit

  • Chicago Red Stars

  • Chivas de Guadalajara

Group E

  • Orlando Pride

  • North Carolina Courage

  • Racing Louisville FC

  • Rayadas de Monterrey