Leagues Cup

Match Preview: Charlotte FC vs. Necaxa in Leagues Cup Group Stage


Charlotte FC return home to Bank of America Stadium for their first-ever matchup with Liga MX side Necaxa on Saturday, July 29th. As the Group Stage of the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament comes to a conclusion this weekend, here is everything to know ahead of the match.

Match: Charlotte FC vs Necaxa | Leagues Cup Group Stage - South 4

When: Saturday, July 29

Where: Bank of America Stadium

Kickoff: 7:30pm

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Table: South 4

FC Dallas - 4 points, 2 GP - 1 W / 0 L / 1 T (1 Shootout L)

Charlotte FC - 2 points, 1 GP - 0 W / 0 L / 1 T (1 Shootout W)

Necaxa - 0 points, 1 GP - 0 W / 1 L / 0 T

Previous Matches:

Charlotte FC 2 – 2 FC Dallas (CLTFC wins 4-1 in penalty kick shootout)

Necaxa 0 – 3 FC Dallas

The Results

In the first match of the three-team group (CLTFC, FC Dallas, and Necaxa), CLTFC rescued points on the road at FC Dallas. A last gasp Ben Bender equalizer from an Ashley Westwood set piece delivery earned a draw for the Crown, setting up a penalty shootout. Kristijan Kahlina came up big with two saves, and Charlotte FC left Texas with two points in hand.


Per Leagues Cup rules, Group Stage matches that end in a draw go directly to a penalty shootout (no overtime). The winner of the penalty shootout gains an extra point for a total of two, while the loser is left with only one point from the regulation draw.

FC Dallas then hosted their second match of the Group Stage on Tuesday night, defeating Necaxa 3-0 after an early red card reduced the Mexican club to 10 men.

The Scenarios to Advance

The shootout victory over Dallas gave Charlotte FC full control over their Group Stage destiny. A win or a draw against Necaxa on Saturday will send the team through to the knockouts in the top two, while a loss would mean Necaxa would qualify for the Round of 32 at CLTFC’s expense.

An outright win, or a draw with a shootout win, would see CLTFC pass Dallas for first place. A draw with a shootout loss would send CLTFC through in second place.


The Opponent

Club Necaxa have been a fixture in Mexican soccer since their founding in 1923 and dominant run of titles in the 1930s. In the modern era, the club has won three league titles, all in the 1990s.

However, the club has been through multiple ownership changes in its history, leading to a lack of consistency at the top end of the table. They spent five seasons in the second division from 2010/11 to 2015/16 but have since solidified themselves in the first division.

Necaxa started this season with two straight draws against Club Tijuana and Toluca before Liga MX paused their season just two matchdays in to participate in Leagues Cup.


The Competition

Leagues Cup is a first-of-its-kind competition featuring all 47 first division clubs from MLS and Liga MX in a World Cup-style club tournament taking place from July 21 to August 19.

Both leagues have paused their respective regular seasons to participate in the tournament. The champion, as well as the second and third place finishers, will qualify for the Concacaf Champions Cup and thus have an opportunity to earn a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup. All matches are scheduled to be played in the United States and Canada.

In the Group Stage, teams were placed in groups of three for a round robin. Each team plays two total Group Stage games, and the top two from each group advance to the single-elimination Knockout Round. LAFC and Pachuca, as the most recent champions of their respective leagues, earned a bye and will enter the tournament in the Round of 32.



Charlotte FC vs Necaxa hosted at Bank of America Stadium is officially set for July 29th. Tickets for the revamped competition between Major League Soccer and Liga MX are on sale now.