Los Angeles FC and MLS All-Star head coach Bob Bradley has stated that the rivalry between Major League Soccer and Liga MX is definitely real.
Liga MX All-Stars were victorious in the recent Skills Contest, although the event everyone will be desperately watching will be the actual matchup between the two sides, for which Bradley will manage and Seattle Sounders’ Cristian Roldan will captain the MLS lineup.
And the former USA manager is excited by the prospect of such an occasion. As quoted by the MLS website, the 63-year-old said: “The idea of putting the best of MLS versus the best of Liga MX is fantastic. It’s all about the fans. It’s about having really good players on the field in a great atmosphere and letting the fans enjoy it.
“Anything that goes on between Mexico and the US is a rivalry.
“For me, the first experiences were with the national team. Those are the games you remember forever. All the matches, the atmosphere in the stadiums and what it’s like to go to [Estadio] Azteca. Now when we start to have more competitions…when you throw in the new events, it adds to the rivalry,” he continued.
“The most important thing in these kinds of games is that it produces excitement for the fans. It’s got to be fun, it’s got to be great players on the field who show what they’re all about and turn it into a really good game.”
Bradley has been on the end of both joyful and upsetting results when matching up with Mexican opposition. Most recently, the LAFC coach took his side all the way to the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League final, where he was narrowly defeated 2-1 by Tigres UANL.
And, although this event is an exhibition, one thing remains pivotal.
“Yes, this whole event is fun,” Bradley went on. “Yes, the players come and get to exciting things. But those 90 minutes aren’t fun if the players aren’t motivated to show their best and represent the league. There’ll be a little bit of making sure when we train tomorrow we get that right.
“All-Star Games are unique, it brings the best of the league. You have so many different, talented players. Everybody gets a chance to come on the field and show what they’re all about. Pride of their league, quality of the league and excitement.”