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MLS/EPL in talks to bring mini-tournament to "New York City"

Don Garber has a new idea for a fun, tournament right in the middle of the MLS season.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is in Manchester for the annual Soccerex convention. The convention brings together the leaders in world football for panels, discussions, and general quotes about big ambitions and grass-roots development from all over the world.

Garber, spoke to Sky Sports (owners of MLS' tv-rights in England) while at the convention, offering some nice nuggets about the state and growth of the league.

One piece of information, from Sky Sports, that pertains to Red Bulls fans is the creation of a new mini-tournament between the winners of the Premier League, the FA Cup winner, the U.S. Open Cup winner, and MLS Champions in "New York City."

"We have been talking to the Premier League about doing some sort of official competition - as opposed to just having clubs come over to the country on a random basis - playing in a tournament that takes place every summer," Garber said.

"...and play it in New York City every year. If not every year, then every four years."

Currently there is only one soccer specific stadium in the New York City metropolitan area for MLS, Red Bull Arena. Yankee Stadium hosts New York City FC, as well as international friendly matches. Citi Field, the home of your New York Mets, has also held international friendlies from time to time. MetLife Stadium in Secaucus, New Jersey held Gold Cup matches, and the old Giants Stadium was no stranger to high profile soccer games.

New York City is also the location of MLS headquarters, which makes sense why the league would want to push it as the "home of MLS" for this type of tournament. A four team tournament, would mean two matches for each MLS team at most, and could take place in June or July, when most pre-season tours/international friendlies take place.

Cups like these are no stranger to MLS teams, and historically take place all over the world. MLS teams have participated in events such as the Copa Interamericana, the Copa Merconorte, the North American SuperLiga, and the CONCACAF Giants Cup. It makes sense for Garber to reach out to the Premier League for a tournament, especially given the league's popularity in the United States.

Where the game will be played is another challenge. With only one soccer specific stadium in the area, the easy answer is Red Bull Arena. The more complicated answer is Red Bull Arena only holds 25,000, where as Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, and MetLife Stadium are close to double that, or more. Depending on how big the series of friendlies gets, RBA may miss out on the action.

Anyway, for a league to grow, it constantly needs to be innovating. It may sound like a way for teams to pack their trophy cases, but a "mini-tournament" is a good sign.