New Copa MX rule seeks more opportunities for players under 20

Coming off a Copa MX title, Necaxa have handed things over to 31-year-old Marcelo Michel Leano. Hector Vivas/Getty Images

The 13th edition of the Copa MX, which has been played twice per year since it was restored in 2012, kicks off Tuesday and will see the debut of the 19/11 rule that requires participating clubs to consistently use players under 20 -- an unprecedented step in the history of the national championship.

The rule, which calls for 180 combined minutes per match from players under 20, is the biggest change to the tournament, which was restored for the Apertura 2012 season.

If Copa MX was considered a platform to give younger players opportunities on the pitch, the 19/11 rule gives clubs a mandate to do so. The tournament gets underway Tuesday with five matches, including Tigres at San Luis, Pumas at Tampico Madero and Mineros de Zacatecas at Leon.

Reigning Copa MX champion Necaxa, which gets a bye in the opening week, begins its title defense Aug. 1 against Tampico Madero. In fact, the next week will see three of Mexico's most popular clubs make their 2018 Copa MX debuts: Club America hosts Veracruz on July 31, Chivas takes on Morelia that same day, and Cruz Azul visits Zacatepec the next day.

The group phase of the younger-look Copa MX will wrap up Sept. 5. The final will be played Oct. 31.

Copa MX, Week 1

Atlético de San Luis vs. Tigres, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Mineros de Zacatecas vs. León, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Morelia vs. Alebrijes de Oaxaca, 9 p.m. Tuesday

Celaya vs. Pachuca, 9 p.m. Tuesday

Tampico Madero vs. Pumas, 9 p.m. Tuesday

Puebla vs. Venados, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Veracruz vs. Dorados, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Atlas vs. Atlético Zacatepec, 9 p.m. Wednesday

FC Juárez vs. Xolos, 9 p.m. Wednesday