Discussions Of A Combined MLS-Liga MX Super League Have Started
Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium last night hosted the inaugural Leagues Cup final, and there was "lots of talk of a master plan to unite" MLS and Liga MX into a super soccer league that would "compete for headlines with the big leagues," according to Alan Snel of LVSPORTSBIZ.com. MLS Commissioner Don Garber was in attendance for the match, which saw Liga MX club Cruz Azul defeat Tigres UANL 2-1. This summer's eight-team MLS/Liga MX competition "served as a trial balloon for the super league concept" (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 9/18). Garber last month said the "ultimate dream" is "a league that is combined in some way." ESPN.com's Tom Marshall notes so far, "nobody seems to be shutting the radical idea down." Sources said that one idea "gaining some early momentum" is some form of "interleague play" like in MLB. Interleague play with "real points at stake would guarantee competitive games that matter." There is a "long way to go before it is consolidated as a fully formed vision," but if a 16-team and then a 32-team Leagues Cup tournament "proves logistically possible and commercially successful, transferring that into actual league play isn't a giant step." A source said that the focus right now is on "developing, expanding and improving Leagues Cup to 'test the waters.'" Next year, eight teams from each league will "qualify for the competition and there is a belief that MLS clubs will, given time to prepare and knowing about the tournament before the preseason, be more willing to field" their regular starters (ESPN.com, 9/19).