A possible merger between Liga MX and Major League Soccer (MLS), the top flight soccer leagues in Mexico and US, is on the cards to form a North American Soccer League.
The potential move has been revealed by Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla who said that plans to combine the MLS and Liga MX have been discussed. Speaking in London at the Leaders Sport Business Summit, Bonilla explained how a merger between the countries’ top divisions could be viewed as a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup 2026, which Mexico and the US will co-host alongside Canada.
“It’s a possibility, a North American league. We have to determine how and see the pros and cons but I think that’s a way to grow and to compete again,” Bonilla said. “If we can make a World Cup then we can make a North American league or a North American cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.”
The two leagues have already entered into a collaboration on various fronts with a formal partnership first signed in March this year. The alliance saw the birth of Campeones Cup – a one-off fixture between the winners of the previous MLS and Liga MX seasons – that took place for the first time in September, with Mexican side Tigres beating Toronto FC.
However, the logistics of any future union of the two leagues appear to be a complicated matter. Liga MX, which comprises 18 clubs, remains the most watched league in the US. MLS, on the other hand, currently features 23 teams – three of which are based in Canada, with FC Cincinnati due to become the 24th in 2019, and David Beckham’s Inter Miami joining in 2020, as well as an as yet unnamed Nashville franchise.