TENAFLY, N.J. – A new four-team format ahead of the kickoff to a new league season is featured in Supercopa Pilsener 2021, the curtain-raiser to the Ecuadorean season that be carried Live on Pay Per View by Integrated Sports Media.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted last year’s competition, the national federation decided to expand the Supercopa to four teams — LDU Quito (winner of the 2020 Supercopa), Emelec (Serie A champions in 2013, 2014 and 2015), Independiente del Valle (2019 Copa Sudamericana champion) and 9 de Octubre (the 2020 Serie B champion, which replaced Barcelona).

Integrated Sports Media is distributing all four games. The Feb. 4 semifinal (8 p.m. ET) between LDU Quito and Independiente del Valle from Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in the nation’s capital; the semifinal Feb. 5 (8 p.m. ET) between Emelec and 4 de Octubre from Estadio Christian Benitez Betancourt in Guayaquil. The two semifinal losers will contest the third-place match Feb. 9 (8 p.m. ET) in Quito; the semifinal winners will face off Feb. 10 (8 p.m. ET) in Guayaquil.

The semifinals will be available for $9.95 each; the third-place match for $12.95; and the final for $14.95. The matches will be carried live in the United States on cable and satellite TV, and digital PPV via iN Demand, DIRECTV, and DISH, or worldwide (excluding Ecuador) online at FITE.TV by downloading the FITE.TV app.

Barcelona, the country’s most successful club with 16 Serie A titles, declined to play in the invitational tournament because of a sponsorship conflict, and was replaced by 9 de Octubre. The Guayaquil club was promoted to Serie A after capturing the Serie B title. Delfin SC, the Serie A winning in 2019, also declined an invitation.

Independiente del Valle, led by its young midfield wunderkind Moisés Caicedo, enters the tournament after having reached the final of the 2016 Copa Libertadores, winning the Copa Sudamericana in 2019 and taking second place in the 2020 Recopa.

LDU Quito has won 11 Serie A titles, most recently in 2018, and won Copa Ecuador in 2019 and is the defending Supercopa champions. Emelec, based in Guayaquil, has won 14 Serie A championships, most recently in 2017 after having won three straight titles from 2013-15.

Emelec was invited to play in the expanded Supercopa by virtue of those three straight championships.

Each of the four clubs will receive $35,000 for participating in the tournament. The champion club will get an additional $50,000; second place is worth $25,000 and third place $15,000.

The schedule (ET)


Feb. 4 – LDU Quito vs. Independiente del Valle, Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito. 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 – 9 de Octubre vs. Emelec, Estadio Christian Benítez Betancourt, Guayaquil, 8 p.m.

Third place

Feb. 9 – Semifinal losers, Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito, 8 p.m


Feb. 10 – Semifinal winners, Estadio Christian Benitez Betancourt, Guayaquil, 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Doug Jacobs at [email protected]

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.