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QOTD: Is an MLS-Liga MX combined league a good idea?

What once seemed like a highly-unlikely pipe dream has turned into an idea that just won’t go away, and now it’s time to start asking whether we should really consider a Major League Soccer-Liga MX merging a real possibility.

Comments made by Atlas owner Alejandro Irarragorri in a recent social media post added more fuel to the possibility of the two leagues joining forces

Though a combined league is still several years away from being a real possibility, if ever, SBI wants to know what you think about the idea. Today’s SBI Question of the Day is this: Does the possibility of a combined super league, with upwards of 50 teams, sound like a good idea, or do you think MLS and Liga MX should keep doing their own things?

Cast your vote here and let us know what you think of the proposed MLS-Liga MX combined league:

[polldaddy poll=10540439]


  1. What really needs to happen is that a consortium of billionaires need to come up with a new soccer league in North America and launch as a legit competition to MLS and push US Soccer to force MLS to introduce promotion/relegation if they want to be the top-tier league.

    • Or those billionaires could buy into MLS without the financial risk of starting their own league, and use the lack of pro/Rel as a way to protect their investment because no matter what kind of product their club puts out they’ll always be in the top flight. Few billionaires got to be billionaires by being stupid.

  2. Some options:
    NFL Model: 48 teams 2 Conferences 6 Divisions of 8, 14 games in your division play one game each vs two other divisions 30 matches. Add 4 other random matches to equal 34 (NFL chooses these based on previous years performance) Division winners plus next 6 to 10 for knockout rounds.
    SuperLiga w/ limited Pro/Rel: Henry Bushnell outlined this on yahoosports today. 8 Mex. 10 US/Can play home and Away’s, top four play playoffs. Bottom two Mex. go back to Liga Mx bottom 2 US/Can go down to MLS, two from each promoted. No falling out of LigaMx or MLS sorry USL.
    Status Quo-ish: LigaMx and MLS play within own leagues and playoffs are combined to crown one champ (not sure the point of this other than bigger TV contracts)
    Remember like anything if this happens it will be about money. This makes sense if it will work financially for both.

  3. Don’t see the “I like the idea, but it will never work” button. The one payer model of MLS clashes with any merger. The legal ramifications of not using one payer will bankrupt MLS.

  4. I don’t know. I was happy for this. So much fun with CCL of course.
    but I think on MLS terms if it happens. No need to start experimenting on what can make the league better when the league is already better daily.

    Maybe it is like baseball back in the good days AL plays AL, NL plays NL and then playoffs to determine the finals every year. MLS might have to catch up more before we start.
    Or is that too much of CCL?

    Thing is, you are going to have to have divisions. So the divisions ARENT going to be Mexico two divisions and US two divisions. They are going to expand across large geo areas ? So at that point, what is the point?

  5. MLS is asking players to take pay cuts just to reopen. ideas even more ambitious and costly than that are being theorized at the worst possible time. IMO teams may fold and leagues may have financial struggles. ideas like this or pro/rel couldn’t be less likely to happen than now.

    • Pay cuts are because there isn’t revenue tickets, ads, tv revenue. When the season resumes all of those things come back. If no season occurs at all someone might fold but these clubs are owned by multi millionaires they’ll be alright. I was listening to guys from the Athletic on a podcast and they said MLS is actually likely to come out in a stronger position than most other leagues. These negotiations for pay cuts are signaling that the season will be much fewer games than scheduled not that teams are on the verge of failure. As I said this will take years of negotiations on many different levels CBAs, TV, FIFA, and some I’m sure I’m not thinking of.

      • the fire set themselves up where they owe rent on 2 stadia worth of leases. other teams are up to their eyeballs in debt service in a good year. as of the antitrust lawsuit the league was losing money. if the games are closed door this year or the season cancelled, or fewer games, that’s less or no added revenue. they may even end up owing people who have multigame plans like me refunds or credits against next season. they aren’t asking for pay cuts because they are flush. i am seriously concerned. but i’m more concerned about health and economics in general. but you could stabilize that and it’s how are these teams paying their bills.

  6. Mexican owners know their market is mature and growth will be incremental. The US is the land of growth and a source of new revenue for them. Large rev. Of course they want it. Why wouldn’t they? 99% of the time these ideas come from down south. Not an accident. As usual rich teams will get richer….”pure fans” (LOL) will be irate, anarchic, and fill the sewer of society, social media, with constant self righteous fantasy…..and the majority of fans will ignore them and flock towards the big teams and games. Yawn. No different than politics and university where fantasy rules, and where fantasy never works in reality. Often it is more destructive but if u never lived through the destruction for all the fantasy brings it sound good!

  7. the UCL usual suspects are constantly exploring this so they don’t have to play some team from Faroe. it’s never allowed by FIFA which has rules against crossborder leagues. they might allow a parallel league or cup competition. they aren’t going to let them make their own separate league. the only chance is the economy tanks so bad FIFA busts but the superteams somehow survive.

    • IV respect your opinions, but Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are the top three teams in Canada and they play in a cross country league with 23 American teams. It CAN be done.

  8. As others have noted there would be way too many teams if you included all current teams and awarded franchises (48 teams). Travel is an issue as well, Toluca to Vancouver would be a haul. Of course sticking point to any joint competitions so far the calendar. I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    • it’s never going to be that, the whole idea is always for the rich teams to play each other and get away from the san joses who won’t spend. and, dirty little secret, to make sure the big dogs don’t actually have to qualify like in CCL or UCL. they pretend it’s recognizing the best but the whole idea of a permanent league is protection from bad years. that when TFC sucks they are still in the regional league. it’s amusing because the pro/rel people usually pimp for it except the “qualifying” concept is about merit, where this is just about money. deep down the pro/rel people are starhumpers posing as merit advocates. they think the teams with the big spending should have their downside covered.

  9. Not a fan. I don’t think MLS can compete. I don’t see it really doing much for the play, though it could improve the overall quality a bit. Too many teams also.

    And until the cartel climate lessens in Mexico, I would fear for US teams’ players. The travel would get more burdensome with more delays going through customs. Doubt Trump would go for it if he is in power and could squash it.

    What I think would work best would be seperate seasons all running and ending simultaneously and then a joint playoff competition.

  10. This is a fact. It is happening. The only thing to debate is how to implement.

    Yes 40 to 50 teams…can’t play everybody every year.

    I see it divided into conferences, divisions. NFL style league and schedule type. Each division plays other divisions in their conference every so often. Other divisions outside conference less so. Top tier teams play other top tier teams and lesser tiered teams play lesser more often like NFL.

    They will keep APERTURA and CLAUSURA.

    18 to 22 games per season. Probably 40 to 44 per season.

    Playoffs to determine champion.

    Again not that I advocate for this.

    But this is how I see it playing out.

  11. Hate the idea. Too much travel. Too Large an area. Soccer is growing in the US and MLS is getting stronger. You are basically setting up a continental league. That’s what the CONCACAF champions league should be. In the next decade MLS will continue to raise its salary cap and profits. Once the salary cap opens up further MLS will be better than Mexican league. Super league would also take away from MLS which is where we need American players to develop and grow. anything that takes away from MLS will be a detriment to the national team.

  12. I love the idea and strongly believe that this will be a perfect platform to introduce a promotion/relegation system to a North America Premier League with maybe the top 5 or 6 teams each joining in from MLS and Liga MX in the inauguration year. That will be super exciting and further improve the quality of both leagues.

    • SimonLove

      They are NOT doing this to introduce Pro-Rel
      End of that story Pro-Rel is not happening here. Accept it.

      • Why NOT, Quit Whining? Never say never my friend. This collaborated MLS/Liga MX Super League can avoid having a 40-50 teams jam-packed competitions that cannot be finished within a season. The bottom 2 teams in the super league get relegated back to either MLS and/or Liga MX at the end of each season. Need to figure out a solution/an alternative if the bottom 2 happen to be coming from the same place, though.

  13. Each season would have to be about 15 months long or more with so many teams. Makes no sense. What would make sense would be to have seasons that run at the same time and then have playoffs that include teams from both leagues. Then for the CCL, have the teams from the other continent leagues have a playoff to get a champion that then plays the MLS–Liga MX champion.

    • I think it’s as simple as having 4 separate divisions. You only play home and away vs your own division and then the playoffs include the entire league.

      Or you could do a pseudo pro/rel with a league 1 and 2.

      • They aren’t doing Pro-Rel.
        So then it becomes break down the divisions. Doesn’t it become US playing US and Mexic0 play Mexico? If not I would like to see that and how it works. Doesn’t seem ideal.

    • With at the moment 48 teams in MLS/Liga Mx I don’t know how you could not have pro/rel. the whole reason for Liga Mx to do this is to expand its hold on US market they don’t get that is they”re only playing in the Mexican Division with playoffs. I just don’t see this working unless it’s just the big spenders breaking off and creating Premier League NA.

  14. Wow…..I think that would be an amazing idea for developing US Soccer as a whole because Liga MX is at a higher level than MLS. As long as we have an excellent development structure in place to go with it (coaches, scouts, physical trainers) to harvest US talent in the process I’m all for it. Merge MLS / Liga MX…..have teams relegated to USL/Ascenso MX…..then relegated to USL League One / Liga Premier – Serie A + B….awesome

    If it can happen this league will be a force to recon with around the world and will reveal real skilled, talented American players……as there will be absolutely no room for over hyped mediocrity

  15. Yeah because traveling for MLS players wasn’t already arduous enough… And since neither league does pro-red, we’re talking about a league with what, 40-50 teams? Good call…


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