A Joint MLS-Liga MX Effort?
Soccer in North America certainly has never compared to European or South American soccer, but that doesn’t mean that it’s been any less passionate. Even the U.S. has discovered The Beautiful Game and has become a fervent supporter of it. However, it’s our neighbors to the south, Mexico, who truly embody the excitement of soccer in North America. In one Liga MX owner’s mind, however, it might be time to see a league that unites American and Mexican teams.
Alejandro Irarragorri, owner of Santos Laguna and Atlas, proposed the idea after admiring the growth of MLS, particularly in the past few years, and how it’s compared to the stagnation of Liga MX. He points out that, while slow, the MLS “has been growing in an ordered, slow, but consistent way in all senses: commercially, infrastructure, financial structure, diffusion and on the field.
Now, do I think this would be a good idea? Honestly, my answer is yes and no. Yes, because it would create increased competition, and maybe we could finally have the promotion/relegation structure that the MLS so obviously lacks. However, I also say no because it would create logistical issues socially, politically and commercially. How would you regulate ticket prices across different currencies? How would you navigate travel? Because I can tell you right now that the flight from Vancouver to Mexico City is not going to be something that pro athletes will look forward to.
Despite my reservations, I do think that this will eventually work out. But I don’t think it’ll work like a domestic league. Instead, I foresee it working more like the Champions League, where there are round robin groups followed by elimination brackets. Either way though, it’s something that should be explored, but it’ll take a lot of cooperation to make it happen.