Report: 8-Team Liga MX, MLS Tournament Could Begin As Early As This Year
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The North American SuperLiga was a cool idea that never really got the traction it maybe deserved, canceled after four years in 2011. According to recent reports, a revamped SuperLiga could be coming back as early as this year.
ESPN has reported that sources said Major League Soccer and Liga MX could combine for an eight-team tournament (four teams from each league), with the first edition to be played in the latter half of 2019.
In essence, it’s the North American SuperLiga, Part II.
For those who don’t remember (or don’t care to), the old Concacaf SuperLiga was an eight-team tournament between Liga MX and MLS clubs that ran from 2007-2010. After four seasons, the competition was abandoned, with MLS commissioner Don Garber saying it was ahead of its time.
Liga MX won three of the four SuperLigas. The lone MLS win came when the New England Revolution avenged an MLS Cup final loss by beating the Houston Dynamo in the final of the SuperLiga.
One would expect a new version of this tournament to follow a similar format, but exact details are as of yet unknown publicly. ESPN reported that West Coast MLS clubs could be well represented as well as a Liga MX club near the border.
That Liga MX and MLS are attempting to further tie their leagues together is no surprise. Liga MX has been looking for further competitions for its clubs after pulling out of the Copa Libertadores due to scheduling conflicts, but scheduling with MLS isn’t much easier given the leagues’ differing calendars.
The two nations have considered combining their leagues by 2026, a byproduct of Mexico and the U.S. (and Canada) working together to secure the 2026 World Cup bid. This past year saw the first edition of the Campeones Cup, which pitted the MLS winner against the Liga MX winner (the Campeone de Campeones winner). Tigres thrashed Toronto in that match in September.
Of course, both of the leagues could also decide to join the Copa Libertadores (the South American Champions League), with some reports suggesting that could happen concurrently in 2020.
The idea of a SuperLiga as another way for Liga MX and MLS to vie for North American supremacy is enticing, though a little unnecessary. In a way it’s just an extension of the Campeones Cup, and seeing as the two leagues are now the most prominent in the revamped Concacaf Champions League, it seems like overkill.
That said, we’d welcome the return of the North American SuperLiga, so long as all clubs put effort into it.